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Maui spared rise in electricity rates

Residential utility customers are paying more for electricity this month on all islands except Maui.

The effective rate for electricity on Oahu rose to 26.4 cents per kilowatt-hour in February from 26.1 cents per kilowatt-hour in January. That boosted the typical bill to $167.47 for customers using 600 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month from $165.51 in January.

Elsewhere in the state:

» Hawaii island residential rates rose to 36.4 cents per kilowatt-hour from last month’s 35.9 cents. The typical bill rose to $229.94 from $226.27.

» Kauai residents saw their rate rise to 39.3 cents per kilowatt-hour from 37.8 cents per kilowatt-hour in January. The typical bill was unavailable.

» Rates for Maui customers dipped to 31.6 cents per kilowatt-hour from January’s 32.2 cents. The typical Maui bill fell to $196.84 from $201.87.

Rates rise in tandem with fuel costs.

‘Off the Map’ viewership sinks

After making steady increases for three weeks, ABC’s "Off the Map" lost more than a million viewers Wednesday night, according to Nielsen ratings released by the network.

The Hawaii-based drama about doctors working in a remote jungle clinic attracted 4.3 million viewers. Last week it drew 5.6 million viewers.

"Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior," a new series from CBS, drew 13.1 million people in its debut while the NBC series "Law & Order: SVU" attracted 7.3 million viewers.

Among adults 18-49 this week, "Off the Map" attracted 1.2 percent of the total TV viewing audience and 3 percent of those who were watching TV at the time.

"Off the Map" airs at 9 p.m. Wednesdays on KITV.

USAA, UPS stores team on deposits

USAA Federal Savings Bank has initiated a program that allows customers to deposit domestic checks at UPS Store locations in Hawaii. The service that allows the deposits at a nonbank retail center was initially offered in San Antonio and San Diego last fall and has seen more than 5,300 checks totaling more than $4.5 million deposited from USAA members, By this spring more than 1,900 pre-identified UPS locations will offer the service nationwide.

Jobless applications jump to 410,000

WASHINGTON » More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, one week after claims had fallen to the lowest level in nearly three years. The big drop a week earlier had occurred largely because bad weather in many parts of the country had kept people from applying.

The Labor Department said yesterday that 410,000 people sought unemployment assistance last week, a jump of 25,000 from the previous week. The rise was much larger than economists had expected.

Applications are well below their peak of 651,000, reached in March 2009, when the economy was in the depths of the recession. Applications below 425,000 are viewed as a signal of modest job growth, but they would need to dip consistently to 375,000 or below to indicate a significant and steady decline in the unemployment rate.

Foreclosure risk dips but still high

NEW YORK » Fewer Americans fell behind on their mortgage payments in the final three months of last year, but foreclosures are still rising.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said yesterday 8.2 percent of homeowners missed at least one mortgage payment in the October-December quarter. The figure, which is adjusted for seasonal factors, improved from 9.1 percent in the previous quarter and from a high of more than 10 percent in the January-March quarter.

ON THE MOVE

Central Pacific Bank has named William "Bill" Wilson as its chief credit officer. He was previously the bank’s executive vice president for special credits. Wilson has 15 years of U.S. and international experience in credit risk management in private and public companies, as well as 14 years of lending and credit experience at a major international financial institution.

Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing Hawaii Inc. has named Candace Akasaki as assistant controller. She was previously a senior accountant as well as a licensed certified public accountant with Ernst & Young LLP.

Pacific Islanders in Communications has announced the following new appointments:

» Amber McClure has been named as content coordinator. She was previously a public relations manager for the "More Than You Think/The Stronger Influence" underage drinking prevention campaigns.

» Micky Huihui as community engagement coordinator. She has more than 10 years of experience in community outreach in Hawaii and was previously serving as ohana and community development/site director at Halau Ku Mana Public Charter School.

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