Friday, April 26, 2013

Business News in the Lehigh Valley - April 26, 2013

Good morning, and T.G.I.F. Lehigh Valley! Today is April 26, 2013, is National Pretzel Day. Here are a few news headlines to get your day started.

Allentown City Council has approved a 50-year lease of the city's water and sewer systems. The vote was 6-1 after hearing hours of arguments from supporters and opponents, with Councilwoman Jeanette Eichenwald opposed and Council members Cynthia Mota, Julio Guridy, Ray O'Connell, Jeff Glazier, Peter Schweyer and Joe Davis voted for the lease.

The Phantoms hockey arena is looking less like a hole in the ground and is beginning to take shape, according to Mike Leone, project manager for Hammes Co., the arena developer. The site is more complicated than most build sites due to the extent of underground work that needs to be completed. The arena is set to open in September 2014. The center ice area will be about 100 feet wide.

In a battle of privacy vs. cybersecurity, CISPA (the "Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act") has been taken off the table for now citing privacy concerns, at least until new legislation is drafted. The bill would have allowed the federal government to share classified "cyber threat" information with companies, but it also provided provisions that would have allowed companies to share information about specific users with the government.

According to Reuters, U.S. economic growth regained speed in the first quarter, but not as much as expected. Gross domestic product expanded at 2.5 percent annual rate.

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