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The East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition will provide two tours in Chattanooga on Wednesday to showcase alternative fuel fleets and the public is invited.

At 9:30 a.m., CARTA will give a walk-through of its latest electric buses which have been added to its fleet with new wireless charging technology. After the tour, the group will convene in the CARTA conference room where an overview will be provided of other Tennessee mass transit fleets making the move to electric.

The tour will be at 1617 Wilcox Blvd. at CARTA's facility.

Also, parcel shipper UPS will feature its compressed natural gas operations in Chattanooga on a tour. It will take place at 4300 Founders Way at 12:45 p.m.

To register for the tours, go to www.tncleanfuels.org. Fleet managers, city officials, sustainability personnel and others are invited.

 

Home sales rise 2.5% during May

U.S. home sales jumped 2.5% in May, as lower mortgage rates appeared to help buyers overcome affordability challenges.

The National Association of Realtors said Friday that existing homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million last month, up from 5.21 million in April.

The recent gains likely came from reduced borrowing costs that made it easier to finance a home. Rates for the 30-year mortgage are averaging 3.84% this week, down sharply from 4.57% a year ago, according to the mortgage buying company Freddie Mac.

The median sales price in May was $277,700, a 4.8% increase from last year.

Sales listings have increased 2.7% from a year ago to 1.92 million homes. But the market contains a mere 4.3 months' supply of properties, well below the six months that were once deemed to be a sign of a healthy market.

Over the past year, homes prices between $250,000 and $750,000 experienced the strongest sales growth.

But sales of homes at cheaper price points have been flat or falling, a sign that the lack of entry-level homes has been an obstacle for would-be buyers.

 

Newspaper chain filed for bankruptcy

Lakeway Publishers says it does not plan to close any newspapers as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and restructuring.

The company owns community newspapers and websites in Tennessee, Missouri and Virginia, including the Citizen Tribune in Morristown, Tennessee.

Lakeway filed for bankruptcy in federal court in East Tennessee last month.

"It is a challenge for small companies to adapt to changing market trends and our leadership has decided to tap into a legal safeguard to protect the company as we make these transitions," Lakeway President Jack Fishman said in a statement. "All publications and online platforms will continue to serve their communities."

 

U.S. backlists Chinese firms

The United States is blacklisting five Chinese organizations, calling them national security threats and cutting them off from critical U.S. technology.

The move Friday by the U.S. Commerce Department comes a week before Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping of China are scheduled to meet to discuss a trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies.

Commerce is putting five Chinese organizations, including supercomputer maker Sugon, on its so-called Entity List, saying their activities are "contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States." The other four organizations are the Wuxi Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology and three Sugon affiliates.

The blacklist effectively bars U.S. firms from selling the Chinese companies technology without government approval.

Commerce last month blacklisted telecommunications giant Huawei, heightening tensions with Beijing.

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