Oak Valley plans holding company
Oak Valley Community Bank plans to establish a holding company in the next few months as a way to give the company more flexibility. Bank President Chris Courtney said that, pending shareholder approval, the holding company Oak Valley Bancorp would then be the parent company of Oak Valley and Eastern Sierra Bank. By doing so, Courtney said, Oak Valley could more easily acquire another financial institution, establish financial services such as an insurance company, and raise capital in a way that would not affect shareholders. The proposal to form Oak Valley Bancorp will be presented to bank shareholders at a meeting on June 17, according to a press release. Founded and based in Oakdale, Oak Valley has 12 branches in the Northern San Joaquin Valley and three in the eastern Sierra.
Food price rise is highest since 1990
Consumer prices slowed in April despite the biggest jump in food costs in nearly two decades. But with oil near record levels, Americans should brace for more pain at the pump in the months ahead. The Labor Department reported Wednesday that consumer prices edged up 0.2 percent last month, slightly lower than expected and better than the 0.3 percent rise in March. The lower inflation reflected a flat reading for energy, which helped offset a 0.9 percent jump in food. That was the biggest one-month surge since a 1.5 percent increase in January 1990.
'Green Jobs' forum
A public forum that focuses on attracting environmentally friendly jobs to the Merced region, titled "Green Jobs for Merced," will begin at 7 p.m. today at the Merced Theatre, 301 W. Main St., Merced. The forum will include public- and private-sector panelists from throughout the state. They will discuss how communities can receive federal money and attract jobs in solar, wind and other "green" industries. Panelists are Mark Stout, director of renewable technology planning, Cleantech America; Nwamaka Agbo, Ella Baker Center for Civil Rights, Green Collar Jobs Campaign Team; and Cheryl Brown, UC Berkeley Labor Center. The event will be hosted by Merced Mayor Pro-Tem John Carlisle.