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In brief

FNC Bank sees spike in credit loss reserves

First National Community Bancorp reported a second quarter loss of $2.2 million due to a $7.2 million provision for credit losses. The operator of 20 First National Community Bank offices blamed the increase on a variety of factors, including an increase in non-performing assets, and chargeoffs due to deteriorating collateral valuations on commercial real estate credits.

In February the bank obtained a $4.1 million confession of judgment against former Luzerne County judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan, their wives and others who guaranteed financing for a Mountain Top area townhouse development.

Conahan was a director of the bank until he resigned in January after federal authorities charged him and Ciavarella in a $2.6 million kickback scheme involving juvenile detention centers.

Help session Wednesday

A “Here to Help” event will be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday at the Penn State Hazleton picnic grove. Representatives of social service and consumer agencies, utilities and government assistance offices will be on hand to advise the unemployed and underemployed on how to deal with financial and family stress caused by economic struggles.

A mobile van from Hazleton Career Link also will be on hand to provide employment assistance. There will be refreshments and activities for children, including child care so that parents can comfortably meet with agencies.

Verizon cutting 8,000

Cost-cutting at Verizon Communications Inc.’s wireline business failed to keep pace with falling revenues as the nation’s largest wireless carrier reported a 21 percent drop in second-quarter profit and announced further job cuts.

The company said Monday it will cut more than 8,000 employee and contractor jobs before the end of the year, speeding up its efforts to keep costs in line.

‘Naked’ shorting banned

Federal regulators on Monday made permanent an emergency rule aimed at reducing abusive short-selling, put in at the height of last fall’s market turmoil.

Short-sellers bet against a stock. They generally borrow a company’s shares, sell them, and then buy them when the stock falls and return them to the lender — pocketing the difference in price.

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