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POSTED March 17, 2014 8:31 p.m.

• SAN FRANCISCO UPS TOTAL IT WILL LEND TO HOMEBUYERS: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco will now lend as much as $200,000 to some homebuyers toward a down payment on their first house or condominium.

Mayor Ed Lee’s decision to double the previous limit of $100,000 was intended to help middle-class residents who have been hit hard by the housing crunch.

The move came as the medium home price in the city reached $925,000 due to low supply and high demand, especially among the city’s influx of well-paid technology workers. The city said the previous loan limit is now too low to do much good.

The increased limit will be available to people who make up to 120 percent of the city’s median income, which is currently $116,500 for a family of four.

When a borrower sells or refinances, the loan has to be paid off along with a percentage of the property’s appreciation. The money is then returned to the loan pool.

The mayor’s office said the fund has provided $14.7 million in loans since it was launched in 1998. Some $12 million in loan repayments and appreciation have flowed back into the fund.

 

• SALLY BEAUTY RELEASES DETAILS ON DATA BREACH: NEW YORK (AP) — Sally Beauty says that a security breach discovered on March 5 affected fewer than 25,000 credit and debit card accounts.

The seller of beauty supplies is pursuing its investigation with a forensics firm. It is also working with the U.S. Secret Service on their preliminary investigation into the matter.

Sally Beauty Holdings Inc., which is based in Denton, Texas, said Monday that it will provide more information on its website in coming days, including notification of affected consumers and others.

 

• HEALTH CARE SIGN-UPS HIT 5M MARK: WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says more than 5 million people have signed up for private health insurance under the new health care law.

That still leaves about 1 million to go over the next two weeks for the White House to meet its latest goal of 6 million enrolled by March 31.

That would work out to more than 70,000 people a day. And some independent analysts say that’s a stretch.

Medicare administrator Marilyn Tavenner announced the 5-million milestone in a blog post Monday.

March 31 is the last day to enroll for a taxpayer-subsidized health plan through the new online markets, or exchanges.

It’s still unclear whether the White House will grant an additional grace period for people who’ve started — but not finished — their applications by that date.

 

•NORTH DAKOTA TRIES TO WOO WORKERS FOR EMPTY JOBS: BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota officials are sending a plea to people across the country: We need you.

The state’s unprecedented oil bonanza has made it the economic darling of the nation — boasting a sturdy economy, a state government budget surplus, and its highest population ever, as swarms of people have migrated to North Dakota. But it hasn’t been enough, officials say, citing some 25,000 more jobs than takers in all industries in the state.

Hoping to woo workers to fill those jobs, Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley and the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation on Monday unveiled a “Find the Good Life in North Dakota” campaign at the state Capitol in Bismarck.

 

• FAST-FOOD PROTESTS TO SPOTLIGHT ‘WAGE THEFT’: NEW YORK (AP) — Fast-food protests are planned for several U.S. cities Ttoday as labor organizers look to bring attention to practices they say illegally deprive workers of their wages.

The protests are planned for about 30 cities, but it’s not clear what the scope of the turnout will be. It’s part of an ongoing campaign by labor groups to build support for pay of $15 an hour and bring attention to the rights of low-wage workers.

Organizers have also been referring workers to attorneys, who filed lawsuits in three states last week saying McDonald’s was stealing their wages in a variety of ways, such as by docking paychecks for the cost of their uniforms.

McDonald’s Corp. said it planned to investigate the allegations and take necessary actions. A representative for the company, based in Oak Brook, Ill., did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the planned protests.

The protests by labor groups since late 2012 have captured national media attention and served as an important backdrop for President Obama’s push to lift workers’ wages. The White House wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, or about $21,000 a year for full-time work. That’s up from the current pay of $7.25 an hour, or $15,000 a year, which was last raised in 2009.

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