The Briefcase: Ga. seeks new highway toll bids
by From wire reports
December 13, 2012 12:44 AM | 865 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ATLANTA — Georgia’s transportation department is seeking bids on a massive project to add toll lanes to two busy interstates northwest of Atlanta.

The project will add the optional toll lanes to interstates 75 and 575, which would open in March 2018 if all goes according to plan.

Darryl VanMeter of the Department of Transportation tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the state is seeking innovative and an efficient design for the project.

Metro Atlanta already has toll lanes on Interstate 85 northeast of the city. The I-85 toll lanes span about 16 miles from near Chamblee Tucker Road, just south of I-285, to Old Peachtree Road in Gwinnett and DeKalb counties.

WebMD will cut 62 local jobs

ATLANTA — Executives with the health website WebMD say the company will cut dozens of jobs in the Atlanta area as part of a broader plan to trim about 14 percent of its workforce to reduce costs.

WebMD Health Corp. officials say 62 of the 250 jobs being cut are in metro Atlanta.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the cuts are aimed at reducing costs after a drop in advertising and sponsorship revenue.

The New York-based company said it expects to reduce annual operating expenses by about $45 million. Most of the job cuts will take place by the end of the year, while some of the other cost-cutting measures will extend into the first three months of 2013.

Deficit rises to $172B in Nov.

The federal government’s budget deficit widened in November compared to October, a sign that the nation is on a path to its fifth straight $1 trillion-plus deficit.

The budget gap rose to $172 billion in November, up from $120 billion in October, the Treasury Department said Wednesday. The November deficit was also 25 percent higher than the same month last year.

The government finished the 2012 budget year with a deficit of $1.1 trillion. President Barack Obama and Congress are under pressure to curb the deficit as part of a budget deal to prevent tax increases and deep spending cuts from kicking in Jan. 1.

Facebook to enhance privacy

Facebook is trying to make its privacy controls easier to find and understand in an effort to turn the world’s largest social network in to a more discreet place.

The most visible, and perhaps most appreciated, change will be a new “privacy shortcuts” section that appears as a tiny lock on the right-hand side at the top of people’s news feeds. This feature offers a drop-down box where users can get answers to common questions such as “Who can see my stuff?”

Other updates will include a tool that enables individuals to review all the publicly available pictures identifying them on Facebook and suggestions on how to request that an embarrassing or unflattering photograph be removed.

Facebook also plans to plant a privacy education page at the top of its users’ news feeds within the next month or so to help them better manage their online identities.

Airline has new fare structure

American Airlines is changing the way it charges you to fly.

American will charge up to $88 more per round trip for passengers who want a basic ticket that includes checking baggage or changing a reservation. Currently the airline levies separate fees for those and other extras for everyone except premium passengers.

American says the new fare structure is a response to customer complaints about fees for changing reservations. American will still sell a basic fare without protection against add-on fees for the ‘passenger who is just looking for the cheapest way to get to where they've got to go.’
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