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Pacific Northwest will open a call center in Kennewick this year, adding up to 120 customer-service jobs within the next few months and up to 400 in the next few years.

The center, to be housed in a former Wal-Mart, is the third Amazon customer-service facility in the United States; the others are in North Dakota and West Virginia. The Seattle online retailer also has call centers in the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, China and India.

Recruiting is handled through WorkSource Columbia Basin, 509-734-5900,


Dividend raised again, hits 25 cents

Bellevue-based Paccar yesterday raised its quarterly dividend to 25 cents a share, the truck maker’s second dividend increase this year. The dividend will be payable Dec. 5 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 17.

Paccar has paid regular quarterly dividends since it went public in 1984; the most recent increase, to 21 cents a share from 20 cents, was in April. In addition, the company typically pays a special cash dividend once a year, most recently a $2-a-share payout in January.


Phone firm accepts U.S. Cellular swap

Alltel, the phone company that bought Bellevue-based Western Wireless last month for $4.5 billion, agreed to swap assets with U.S. Cellular.

U.S. Cellular will give Alltel two rural-service markets in Idaho and $50 million in cash, the companies said Monday. U.S. Cellular, the nation’s No. 6 wireless company, will get 15 rural area markets in Kansas and Nebraska.

The swap helps Little Rock, Ark.-based Alltel meet Justice Department requirements related to its purchase of Western Wireless. U.S. regulators ordered Alltel to sell wireless-telephone assets in 16 rural areas to prevent the merged company from controlling too much of the market.


Aloka to distribute to veterinarians

SonoSite, the Bothell maker of hand-held ultrasound devices, said Monday it has named Aloka to handle sales to the U.S. veterinary market.

The companies estimate the value of the market at up to $50 million with 15 to 20 percent annual growth, though it has been a small part of SonoSite’s sales, said Chief Financial Officer Mike Schuh.

Compiled from Seattle Times staff and Bloomberg News