GF Business Briefs

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Sales of new homes have fallen for the fourth straight month. The Commerce Department says newly built homes plunged 5.5 percent in September. The annual rate has dropped 15.3 percent since May. There is a 7.1-month supply of new homes on the market, the highest level since March 2011.

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The North Dakota Office of Management and Budget reports the September tax collections were $145.7 million - or $68 million above forecast. Revenues this biennium are ahead of forecast by 6.2 percent. Sales tax collections were 52 percent over the September forecast.

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U.S. auto companies such as General Motors, Tesla and Ford faltered this year in Consumer Reports' reliability rankings as readers reported more mechanical trouble with their vehicles. The magazine and website said all U.S.-based brands fell to the bottom half of 29 brands in the rankings. Lexus and Toyota were once again at the top.

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Ford is recalling nearly 1.3 million Focus compact cars in the U.S. because a fuel system problem can cause the engines to stall without warning. The recall covers cars from 2012 through 2018 with 2-liter four-cylinder engines. Ford says it's not aware of any crashes or injuries caused by the problem.

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A UND history professor has released a new publication that focuses on the debate over Colin Kaepernick’s Kneeling during the national anthem. Eric Burin says the volume seeks to foster civil dialogue about important issues. The former N-F-L quarterback became the subject of debate in 2016 for his actions designed to draw attention to discrimination and injustice. The Digital Press at UND launched Protesting on Bended Knee: Race, Dissent, and Patriotism in 21st Century America earlier this month (Oct 16).

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First, Dunkin' dropped the "Donuts" from its name. Now, it's adding espresso drinks to its menu. Dunkin' says most of its 9,200 U.S. stores will offer lattes, cappuccinos and other espresso-based drinks by the holiday season. It's part of an effort by the chain to increase beverage sales.

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