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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, December 07, 2017 1:00 am

briefs

Lutheran plans MRI, rehab site

Staff, news services

Lutheran Health Network is investing about $2 million to open a downtown outpatient physical rehabilitation and MRI center, which is expected to open next spring.

The leased office at 219 W. Wayne St. is adjacent to a Fort Wayne Orthopedics office and will be run by The Orthopedic Hospital, which is part of Lutheran's network.

Five jobs will be created, spokesman Geoff Thomas said. Positions include physical therapist, occupational therapist and MRI technician.

The Orthopedic Hospital also operates physical rehab offices on the Dupont Hospital and FWO campuses. A fourth will open next year in Wabash.

Indiana company to sell hotel contracts

White Lodging Services has agreed to sell 82 – or almost half – of its hotel management contracts to Interstate Hotels and Resorts of Virginia. Details of the deal were not disclosed.

Merrillville-based White Lodging is planning to build and operate a 125-room Hampton Inn & Suites at Harrison Square. The project's cost is estimated at $20.3 million.

The new hotel will be built on Jefferson Boulevard beside the Courtyard by Marriott, which was also developed and operated by White Lodging.

Wells Fargo faces insurance discipline

California's insurance regulator wants to suspend or revoke Wells Fargo & Co.'s license to sell insurance in the state after accusing the bank of setting up more than 1,400 renters insurance and life insurance policies for customers who never asked for them.

The move, announced late Tuesday, comes after the department launched an investigation last year into the San Francisco bank's insurance brokerage business after the sham accounts scandal in response to allegations from former workers at New Jersey insurer Prudential.

It's not clear what impact, if any, the department's action would have on the bank, which has been taking steps to exit the insurance business, but Wells Fargo offered an apology for the bank's insurance sales practices.

VW exec gets prison in pollution scandal

A Volkswagen senior manager has been sentenced to seven years in a U.S. prison for concealing software that was used to evade pollution limits on nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles.

Lawyers spent roughly 90 minutes giving different views about Oliver Schmidt's culpability in the scandal. But Judge Sean Cox sided with prosecutors, calling Schmidt a “key conspirator” who viewed the cover-up as an opportunity to “shine” and “climb the corporate ladder.”

Schmidt led VW's engineering and environmental office in Michigan from 2012 to early 2015.

He met with key California regulators in 2015 but didn't disclose the rogue software.

Productivity's gains best in 3 years

U.S. worker productivity rose 3 percent in the third quarter, the best showing in three years, while labor costs fell for a second straight quarter.

The increase in productivity in the July-September quarter was double the 1.5 percent gain in the second quarter, and both quarters were up significantly from a scant 0.1 percent rise in the first three months of the year.

Labor costs fell 0.2 percent after an even bigger 1.2 percent decline in the second quarter.