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Business news in brief

In the Region

Ex-energy official to lobby

Bravo Group, a Harrisburg public relations and lobbying firm with a stable of big energy-industry clients, has hired a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection executive to lead its energy and environmental practice. Jeffrey M. Logan, who has worked in various state agencies for 20 years, most recently served as DEP executive deputy secretary during the Corbett administration. Bravo's energy clients include Sunoco, Sunoco Logistics, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, Southwestern Energy, Cabot Oil & Gas, Dow Chemical, and the Pennsylvania Steel Alliance. It also manages the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council. - Andrew Maykuth

Clothes Mentor opening

Clothes Mentor is scheduled to open Thursday on Germantown Pike in East Norriton, adding to a trend of upscale-resale retail fashion establishments. Havertown insurance-company veteran and grandmother Terri Waters is the owner of the franchise, which is part of a Minneapolis-based chain owned by Ron Olson. Olson was cofounder and former partner in resale chains Play It Again Sports, Plato's Closet, and Once Upon a Child. Clothes Mentor plans five Philadelphia-area locations in all, 125 across the United States. - Joseph N. DiStefano

Shareholders like BB&T offer

Susquehanna Bancshares shareholders voted by an "overwhelming" margin in favor of their firm's being acquired by BB&T. Lititz, Pa.-based Susquehanna disclosed the tally from Friday's shareholder vote in a federal filing. Nearly 144.9 million of Susquehanna's 182.1 million shares outstanding were cast in favor of the acquisition, or 79.6 percent. - LNP

PlayStation Vue Web TV here

Sony Corp. began selling PlayStation Vue in three cities, joining a parade of media, technology, and phone companies offering pay TV over the Web. Sony's service is available through PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 game consoles in Philadelphia, New York, and Chicago, according to a statement from the Tokyo-based company Wednesday. Starting at $50 a month, Vue offers on-demand and live programming from more than 85 channels. Sony has partnered with nine media companies, including CBS Corp., NBCUniversal, Viacom Inc., and 21st Century Fox Inc. - Bloomberg News


GM retreats from Russia

General Motors will slash production at its plant in St. Petersburg, Russia, and pull its mass-market Opel brand completely in the face of plummeting sales in the economically troubled country. Mainstream GM brands have been among the biggest losers as Russia's auto market shrinks, with sales of Chevrolet down 74 percent year-on-year in February and those of Opel plunging 86 percent. Opel will leave the Russian market by December. Chevrolet production cuts focus on top-end products such as the Corvette and Tahoe SUV, which are imported into Russia from the United States. GM will likely take a onetime charge of around $600 million, around a third of which will be noncash expenses. - AP

Seattle wage law advances

Supporters of higher pay for minimum-wage workers hailed a federal judge's decision clearing the way for Seattle's new minimum-wage law to take effect as planned next month. On April 1, large businesses and national chains must raise their pay to at least $11 an hour. Smaller ones must pay at least $10 an hour. Seattle's current minimum wage is $9.47, the same as Washington state. U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones rejected claims by franchises of big national chains that the law discriminates against them. - Associated Press

Starbucks to start delivering

Starbucks says it will start delivering to customers in selected parts of Seattle and New York this year. In Seattle, it said, it will team up with a company called Postmates to deliver to homes and offices within specific areas. In New York, delivery will be from existing or newly setup Starbucks shops in certain buildings, starting with the Empire State Building. Starbucks chief digital officer Adam Brotman said that there would be no minimum purchase required, but that deliveries would require "a small flat fee." He declined to say what the fee will be. Delivery workers will accept tips, too. - AP

Ex-Salix executives cash in

Two top executives at Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. who left after accounting problems at the company - former CEO Carolyn Logan and CFO Adam Derbyshire - will walk away with a combined $46 million after the company's $11.1 billion sale to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. The financial issues prompted a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation after Salix said it recorded sales in the wrong period, counted rebates as business expenses, failed to account for millions of dollars in potential product returns, and let months' worth of unsold products build up with wholesalers. - Bloomberg News