– August 20, 2014

Central Valley Community Bank offers free shredding

Both individuals and businesses will be able to shred documents free of charge at Central Valley Community Bank locations.Both individuals and businesses will be able to shred documents free of charge at Central Valley Community Bank locations.Central Valley Community Bank will host its annual free document shredding events that allow businesses and individuals to shred confidential files safely and securely from April 16 to May 29 at CVCB locations throughout the San Joaquin Valley.

During tax season in particular, businesses and individuals look to evaluate and discard sensitive documents in order to clean house and protect against identity theft and fraud. CVCB offers the service to existing and non-bank customers.

“As identity theft and fraud become more prevalent in the Valley, Central Valley Community Bank is committed to helping the community protect their personal and business information,” said Dan Doyle, president and CEO of CVCB, in a release. “These events give our customers and community members the opportunity to shred their personal information with a company they can trust.”

Central Valley Community Bank offices in Fresno, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties are providing free paper shredding services with a limit of six banker boxes per person or business and up to shredding truck capacity. Additional boxes will be referred to an alternate location for a fee. Each branch has a specific date for the event, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Paper shredding dates and locations can be found at

How do you feel about the ice bucket challenge?


gordonwebstergordonwebster Gordon Webster - Publisher
gordonwebstergordonwebster Gabriel Dillard - Managing Editor

Latest Local News

Written on 08/20/2014, 2:19 pm by Associated Press
(AP) — A late round of buying is leaving stock indexes mostly higher.
Written on 08/20/2014, 2:13 pm by Associated Press
(AP) — State auditors have found Medi-Cal was hit with $93 million in potentially fraudulent bills by substance abuse clinics across California. The Los Angeles Times reports ( the audit released Tuesday reviewed five years of billing data for Medi-Cal's Drug Treatment program, which reimburses outpatient rehabilitation clinics. The report says the state's Department of Health Care Services and the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs failed to administer the program "and created opportunities for fraud." DHCS spokesman Norman Williams tells the Sacramento Bee ( ) a review led the department to cut ties with more than 200 clinics and refer their operators for criminal prosecution. The department plans to visit every clinic in the state as part of a sweeping recertification review.
Written on 08/20/2014, 2:08 pm by Associated Press
(AP) — A nonprofit group in Fresno says a massive reservoir that serves over two million people in the San Francisco Bay Area is harming endangered fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The Center for Environmental Science, Accuracy and Reliability filed a lawsuit against the National Park Service this week arguing the park service has failed to ensure Hetch Hetchy reservoir doesn't negatively impact endangered species. The group says Hetch Hetchy takes fresh water from the Delta, increasing its salinity and hurting endangered salmon, smelt and sturgeon. The San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday ( ) that the nonprofit has ties to Fresno's Westlands Water District, which supplies farmers with irrigation water from the Delta. The National Park Service did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Written on 08/20/2014, 2:06 pm by Business Journal staff
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to join the HERO program, giving property owners another financing tool to make water and energy improvements. Fresno County follows cities like Fresno and Clovis that enrolled in the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program earlier this year. Reedley, Sanger and Kingsburg are expected to launch the program over the next few weeks. Under HERO, property owners can invest in energy and water efficiency projects through loans that can be repaid over 20 years via a special assessment on their property tax bills. As part of its brand of the PACE program, HERO has contractors at its disposal that will see through more than 150,000 water and energy remedies, including heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) repairs, solar panel installations, cool roofs, energy-saving windows, lighting upgrades, insulation, drip irrigation and gray water systems. Property owners can borrow up to 15 percent of the property value for the improvements and household income or credit scores are not a factor to qualify for the loans. The HERO program was started up in December 2011 with a partnership between the Western Riverside Council of Governments and Renovate America, Inc. Since then, the program has been extended to 174 communities in California, helping to fund more than 13,000 residential projects totaling more than $240 million in financing and creating more than 2,400 jobs in California.
Written on 08/20/2014, 1:53 pm by Ben Keller, Business Journal staff writer
A handful of companies in the Central Valley were featured in the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the U.S. The list, released by, is now in its 33rd year of ranking companies by revenue growth over a three-year period. Ranking 684 on the list was Barney Butter. The Fresno company, which produces a line of all-natural, GMO-free almond butters, grew its revenue 661 percent from 2010 to 2013, going from $1.1 million to $8.6 million during the period. Founded in 2006, the company added seven jobs over the last three years for 18 employees total. Fresno's Integrated Prescription Management, which manages pharmaceutical prescriptions for its customers, made it to No. 1,221, growing its revenues 358 percent from 2010 to 2013. Founded in 2009, the company went from $15 million in earnings to $68.7 million over the last three years and also added 23 jobs to now 31 helping to process prescriptions. Last year, the company was included on's Inc. 500 list, ranking 380 for a 1,167 percent increase in revenue from 2009 to 2012. Visalia's Pro-PT ranked 3,285 on the list, growing 104 percent from $1.8 million to $3.7 million and adding 34 jobs. Founded in 2001, the physical therapy company has 63 employees specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries, sport injuries, spine conditions and post-surgical care. At No. 3,439 was Oakhurst-based Pizza Factory, which has swelled to 110 restaurant franchises throughout five western states since it was founded in 1979.. The company went from $1.4 million in revenues in 2010 to $2.9 million in 2013 for an increase of 97 percent. Fresno-based market research software firm Decipher ranked 3,497 on the list. The company, founded in 2000, grew its revenues 94 percent in the last three years, going from $13 million to $25.4 million. Decipher also added 29 jobs during the same period to now some 140 employees working out of its north Fresno office. BCT Consulting of Fresno made the list at No. 4,237. In 2013, the technology services company reported $4.2 million in earnings, an increase of 67 percent over 2010. The firm, founded in 1996, also added 19 jobs in the period to now has 50 total employees. At 4,826 on the list, Fresno accountancy firm The Garabedian Group reported a 48 percent growth in revenues, going from $1.4 million in 2010 to $2 million in 2013. Since it's founding in 2009, the family-owned company has grown to 14 employees, adding three over the last three years.
Written on 08/20/2014, 11:56 am by Business Journal staff
One of the Fulton Mall's key investors has announced plans to expand the residential portion of the Pacific Southwest Building. Building owner Sevak Kachadurian has announced a press conference and tour of the building on Aug. 21. At the event, he is expected to announce plans to add 20 residential units and a community room. In February, Kachadurian promised Fresno City Council that if it voted to renovate the Fulton Mall and reopen it to traffic, he would begin his investment in the restoration of the 100,000-square-foot building. “The City of Fresno has signaled to the private sector that they are serious about investing in downtown,” Kachadurian said in a press release. “Now it is the private sector's turn.” Formerly known as the Security Bank Building, the 16-story building is situated in the middle of the Fulton Mall, between Fresno and Tulare streets. Currently, the building has two floors of residential units which are full and have a wait list. The pedestrian mall has been closed to traffic for 50 years and many downtown business owners are hoping the decision to reopen it to traffic will revitalize the area. “Every downtown that has re-opened their pedestrian mall has revitalized. Invest now or miss the opportunity of a lifetime,” Kachadurian said.
Written on 08/20/2014, 11:43 am by Business Journal staff
Sal's Mexican Restaurant and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have settled federal charges regarding an alleged incident of sexual harassment. Four year ago a hostess at the Fresno location filed a sexual harassment claim against a supervisor with the EEOC. Sal's Mexican Restaurant did not admit liability in the case resulting from the complaint, but Lorraine Salazar, president and co-owner of the eatery, said the company supports the right of employees to work in a harassment-free environment. "As a result of this resolution and our own internal review, we have implemented additional management and employee training programs as well as third party incident reporting processes and accountabilities that will allow employees to address any concerns to management immediately," Salazar said in a statement. "We are committed to ensure our valuable employees continue to have a positive and safe workplace experience." Sal's will pay $15,000 as part of the settlement.
Written on 08/20/2014, 11:11 am by ANNE D'INNOCENZIO, AP Retail Writer
(AP) — Target Corp. slashed its annual profit outlook for the second time in three months as the retailer continues to reel from costs related to a massive data breach, a botched expansion in Canada and sluggish sales in the U.S. The nation's third-largest retailer also said Wednesday that its second-quarter earnings dropped 61.7 percent. Excluding expenses related to the data breach, the results were a penny short of Target's reduced estimate issued earlier this month. The reduced forecast comes three weeks after Target named PepsiCo executive Brian Cornell as its new CEO as the retailer fights to redefine itself to American shoppers. The latest results highlight the challenges that Cornell, who officially started Aug. 12, faces on all fronts. He must wrestle not only with problems specific to Target, such as restoring the discounter's magic as a cheap chic fashion purveyor. But he also must address broader challenges facing the economy and the retail industry in general. While most of Target's low- to middle-income shoppers have moved beyond the data breach, they remain cautious about spending in a tough environment. In fact, Target, which ramped up promotions in the first quarter and scaled back the discounting tempo in the second quarter, said it still had to cut prices more than originally expected in the latest period. That environment has also tripped up rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which lowered its annual profit forecast last week amid sluggish sales. Target and other retailers also face a shifting landscape where shoppers, looking for convenience, are moving away from physical stores and researching and buying on their PCs and mobile devices. That has contributed to traffic declines at Target and other retailers. In his first earnings conference call as Target's new leader, Cornell told investors Wednesday his top priorities are turning around the U.S. business and Canadian operations as well as pushing Target to move faster in innovations in digital shopping. He said he just returned from a trip to Canada and said that he plans to spend time listening to employees. But he emphasized there's no time to waste. "I want to be a good student of the business," he said. "But clearly, we have a sense of urgency here and a sense of pace." Cornell is the first outsider to take the helm at Target. He replaces Mulligan, who was named interim CEO when Gregg Steinhafel resigned in early May in the wake of the data breach that compromised the credit card and personal information of millions of customers and exposed big security flaws. Mulligan told reporters during a call that Target plans to return to a more normal pace of discounting and focus on attracting shoppers by offering more exciting products. To that end, Target is revamping its beauty and baby departments and is also planning to increase its offerings of trendier fashions. There were some encouraging signs. Customer traffic was down 1.3 percent in the first quarter, not as bad as the 2.3 percent drop in the first quarter. Right after the breach was disclosed last December, traffic dropped 5 percent Revenue at stores open at least a year up moved into the positive territory for six weeks in a row, a period that includes a bulk of the back-to-school shopping season. The figure is considered a key measurement of a retailer's operating performance. Target also faces the lingering effects of the breach. The company has responded by overhauling security and technology. The company incurred breach-related expenses of $148 million, partially offset by the recognition of a $38 million insurance receivable in the quarter. As for Canada, the company is overhauling its business under new management. In fact, 30,000 of the 70,000 items stocked in a typical Canadian store will be new by the holiday season. Such factors weighed on the second-quarter results. Target said it earned $234 million, or 37 cents per share, in the quarter ended Aug. 2, compared with earnings of $611 million, or 95 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 1.7 percent to $17.4 billion, slightly above the $17.38 billion estimate from FactSet. Revenue at stores open at least a year was unchanged from a year ago. Excluding expenses related to the data breach, the company earned 78 cents per share. Analysts expected 79 cents per share, according to FactSet. The company said it now expects full-year adjusted earnings to be in the range of $3.10 to $3.30 per share, compared with prior guidance of $3.60 to $3.90. Analysts had expected $3.50 per share. Target's shares rose 1 percent, or 67 cents, to $59.92 Wednesday. The shares, excluding Wednesday's performance, have lost nearly 13 percent of their value over the past year.
Written on 08/20/2014, 11:05 am by The Associated Press
(AP) — German chip maker Infineon Technologies AG says it has agreed to pay $3 billion in cash for California-based International Rectifier, which produces power-management components used in everything from cars to satellites. Infineon said in Wednesday's announcement that it's paying $40 per share for El Segundo-based International Rectifier. The deal has been approved by both boards, but must win regulatory permission and meet the approval of International Rectifier shareholders. Infineon, based in Munich, has 26,700 employees and makes chips for a wide variety of products including cars, medical equipment and mobile devices. It says combining with International Rectifier will increase the scale and efficiency of its own power-management business. International Rectifier was founded in 1947 and has 4,160 employees.
Written on 08/20/2014, 11:02 am by 
MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Technology Writer
(AP) — Apple's stock touched a new high Wednesday, reflecting investors' renewed faith in CEO Tim Cook's ability to outwit the competition and expand the technological hit factory built by the late Steve Jobs. The milestone represents a dramatic turnaround in sentiment since Apple's shares reached its previous split-adjusted peak of $100.72 in September 2012. After peaking at $100.77 Wednesday morning, shares slipped 3 cents to $100.50, giving Apple a market value of $602 billion — by far more than any other publicly held company. Apple's stock had fallen to a split-adjusted $55.01 in April 2013 to wipe out about $300 billion in shareholder wealth amid worries that the Cupertino, California, company had run out of ideas without Jobs as its mastermind. The anxiety escalated as sales of iPhones and iPads slowed amid the growing popularity of less expensive smartphones and tablet computers made by Samsung Electronics and other rivals relying on Google's free Android software. Now, there are signs that Samsung's devices are losing momentum while Apple prepares to release the next version of its iPhone this fall and investors wait for Cook to deliver on his promise to introduce a product that will open up new opportunities. The breakthrough is widely expected to be a smartwatch that will include sensors to help people monitor their health. Hewing to its secretive ways, Apple hasn't provided details about its upcoming products. Cook, though, has been raising hopes that Apple is poised to create a new product category for the first time since the iPad's release four years ago. "We've got some great things that we're working on that I'm very, very proud of and very, very excited about," he told analysts in April. Anticipation for the next iPhone already is running even higher than the usual frenetic buildup. The device is expected to feature a display screen of at least 4.7 inches, an upgrade likely to spur many Apple fans to scrap their old models for a more spacious version. Apple's stock hit its previous high the last time the company increased the iPhone's screen size in 2012, going from 3.5 inches to 4 inches that time. Analysts are also enthused about Apple's efforts to immerse its devices and services even more deeply into people's lives by creating a system that syncs the iPhone with display screens in autos and implanting a health-tracking system in the next version of its mobile software due out this fall. The new software, called iOS 8, could also work with a smartwatch, if Apple does release one. Apple's stock has bounced back with the help of some financial engineering, too. The company's board voted in April to spend an additional $30 billion buying back Apple's stock and approved an unusual 7-for-1 stock split. The split, completed last month, was Apple's first in nine years. Although a split doesn't change a company's market value, it often helps lift a stock's price by making the shares appear more affordable to a larger pool of potential investors. In Apple's case, the split caused the stock price to fall from about $645 to $92 to adjust for the issuance of more than 5 billion additional shares. Apple's stock has risen about 34 percent since the split was announced in April. The rally is a vindication of sorts for Cook, whose every move is viewed through the prism of what Jobs might have done if he were still alive and running Apple. Jobs groomed Cook as his successor before he died in October 2011 after a long battle with cancer. Apple's stock has nearly doubled since Cook became CEO, slightly outpacing the roughly 70 percent gain in the Standard & Poor's 500 during the same stretch. Cook has done some things that most analysts doubt Jobs would have done, including buying headphone maker and music-streaming service provider Beats Electronics for $3 billion and funneling so much of Apple's cash into buying back its own stock. Cook and the rest of the board increased the amount being spent on Apple's stock under pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn, who began accumulating his 0.8 percent stake in the company last summer when the stock was hovering around a split-adjusted $60. Icahn spent the next few months trumpeting Apple's stock as a bargain investment, an assessment that now looks prescient. In a Tuesday post on his Twitter account, Icahn reminded his 175,000 followers that he considered his investment in Apple to be one of his "no-brainers." He added: "All my chips are still on the table."

Latest State News

Written on 08/20/2014, 2:13 pm by Associated Press
(AP) — State auditors have found...
Written on 08/20/2014, 11:05 am by The Associated Press
(AP) — German chip maker Infineon...
Written on 08/20/2014, 11:02 am by 
MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Technology Writer
(AP) — Apple's stock touched a new high...
Written on 08/20/2014, 10:20 am by SCOTT SMITH, Associated Press
(AP) — A wildfire northeast of...

Latest National News

Written on 08/20/2014, 2:19 pm by Associated Press
(AP) — A late round of buying is...
Written on 08/20/2014, 11:11 am by ANNE D'INNOCENZIO, AP Retail Writer
(AP) — Target Corp. slashed its annual...
Written on 08/20/2014, 10:37 am by 
(AP) — Janet Yellen has won credit for...
Written on 08/20/2014, 10:35 am by The Associated Press
(AP) — The Dallas Cowboys are the first...