Salaried employees at General Motors Corp. will face higher out-of-pocket health-care costs next year. Workers and retirees were notified...

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Retail gas prices rose an average of 10 cents in the past two weeks as Hurricane Rita idled refineries along the Gulf Coast, squeezing production capacity already hurt by Hurricane Katrina, according to a nationwide survey released yesterday.

The weighted average price for all three grades rose to $2.93 a gallon on Friday, said Trilby Lundberg, who publishes the semimonthly Lundberg Survey of 7,000 gas stations around the country.

Self-serve regular averaged $2.91 a gallon nationwide. The price for midgrade was $3.01, while premium-grade hit $3.11.

The average price of gas at the pump had fallen an average 20 cents in the previous survey period before Rita hit.

General Motors

Workers to pay higher deductibles

Salaried employees at General Motors Corp. will face higher out-of-pocket health-care costs next year.

Workers and retirees were notified of the change last week, The Detroit News reported yesterday. Active workers will have to pay 50 percent more next year.

Raising the deductibles and co-pays could save the automaker millions of dollars. GM has made it a priority to reduce its nearly $6 billion-a-year health-care tab to rebuild its troubled North American auto business.

Individual deductibles will increase to $450 from $300, and family deductibles to $900 from $600. Employees will have access to flexible-spending accounts.


Report says 2 of 3 adults use Internet

Nearly two out of three U.S. adults use the Internet at least occasionally, while 32 percent do not and not always by choice. A new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project also found certain groups continue to lag in their Internet adoption, including people over the age of 65, African Americans and non-high-school graduates.

About a fifth of those surveyed during May and June said they have never used the Internet or e-mail and do not live in Web-connected households. The percentage of “truly disconnected” adults is about the same as it was in a similar survey conducted by Pew in 2002.


Free service offers Web site building

Lycos announced the launch of Planet, a free service for building Web sites featuring Weblogs, photos and slide shows. One feature, MyTV Player, lets users create slide shows with swipes, fades, rotates and spins, and animated captions. Planet is available on Lycos’s and will also be added to in a few weeks, the company said.


Company to end DSL experiment

Pennsylvania utility company PPL will end its experiment to deliver near-DSL-speed Internet access over power lines at the end of the month.

PPL said after a two-year trial that results of the technology was “promising,” but, “the combination of a competitive marketplace and need for significant scale has led us to the decision not to proceed as a retail communications service provider,” said David Kelly, president of the company. PPL will give its trial customers a $50 credit “to ease the transition to another Internet service provider.”

Compiled from The Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service and MarketWatch