Modesto cheese wins top fair award
Fiscalini Cheese Co. of Modesto won a best-of-show award at the California State Fair for its Lionza, a style that harks back to the Fiscalini family's Swiss roots. The judges voted unanimously Thursday to give it the top award in the commercial cheese competition. Lionza won a gold medal in the semihard category, then competed with other gold winners for best of show. The cheese will be displayed during the fair, Aug. 15 to Sept. 1 at Cal Expo in Sacramento. The award is among many that Fiscalini has earned, including some at last year's World Cheese Awards in London. The family has had a dairy farm on Kiernan Avenue since 1914 and has produced cheese from the cows' milk since 2000. Its latest product is habanero cheddar. More information about the business is available at www.fiscalinicheese.com.
FCC leader calls out to assist cell users
The head of the Federal Communications Commission said Friday he wants to regulate fees charged to cell phone users who cancel their wireless contracts early. At a news conference, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin would not say whether he endorses an industry plan to help consumers avoid "early termination fees" as detailed by The Associated Press earlier this week. But Martin said he supports regulating the fees at a federal level, even if it affects a series of class-action lawsuits against carriers in state courts. Martin said industry and consumer groups were negotiating to reach an agreement to ease the fees, which have infuriated consumers. But so far, they have been unable to reach a consensus.
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Flight prices soar
Airlines significantly raised ticket prices to offset the runaway cost of fuel. The three biggest carriers each boosted most domestic fares by up to $60 round trip, while budget airline AirTran Airways raised its leisure fares by $30 round trip. UAL Corp.'s United Airlines led the round of increases late Thursday, lifting round trip ticket prices by $10 to $60, depending on how far passengers fly and the competition on the route. AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, the biggest U.S. carrier, and No. 3 Delta Air Lines Inc. matched the increase Friday.
Consumer Reports recently conducted its biggest test of portable global positioning system devices and found more models that offer more features at lower prices.