Pacific Northwest Tacoma-area officials are offering more than $140 million in public funds as part of a deal to keep Russell Investments...

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Pacific Northwest

Tacoma-area officials are offering more than $140 million in public funds as part of a deal to keep Russell Investments from moving.

Russell, the largest business in downtown Tacoma, wants bigger headquarters.

Members of Tacoma Partnership said they made their case Monday at Russell headquarters. The pitch included creating an “International Financial Services Area” in downtown Tacoma. The partnership said $119 million in state and city money, as well as $24 million in federal funds, could provide incentives for Russell and other companies.

Russell spokeswoman Jennifer Tice wouldn’t comment on the presentation, nor did Russell executives give a decision date.

The company has about 1,100 employees.

Costco Wholesale

Court won’t rehear liquor-laws case

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied Costco Wholesale’s request that it reconsider a decision upholding the state’s rules on beer and wine distribution.

An appeals-court panel ruled in January that most of the Prohibition-era laws are valid. The rules include automatic price markups and bans on alcohol delivery to a warehouse.

The court said Tuesday it would not rehear the case.

Costco could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, said Brian Smith, a state Liquor Control Board spokesman.

Costco attorney John Sullivan declined to comment.

Microsoft

Report: No plans to boost Yahoo bid

Microsoft has no plans to raise its $44.6 billion offer for Yahoo, betting that staying put will give it more time to persuade the board to accept the bid, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Microsoft also has no immediate plans to nominate a board slate at Yahoo, the report said, citing unidentified people familiar with the situation. Microsoft will wait and see if the economic slowdown makes its $31-a-share bid more palatable to Yahoo, The Journal said.

A Yahoo spokeswoman declined to comment. Microsoft representatives couldn’t be reached.

Aviation

FAA issues Boeing landing-gear alert

Hundreds of Boeing aircraft were outfitted with “unapproved” landing-gear parts under a maintenance contract with AAR, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a safety alert.

The parts — MLG truck beams — didn’t comply with maintenance manuals and a 2001 safety order because they used enamel paint that may block a drain hole and hide rust, the agency said in its March 25 notice. The alert covers more than 300 parts approved by AAR for use on 767s, 757s, 747s and 707s from Jan. 1, 2001, to Nov. 26, 2007, the agency said. No accidents have been reported as a result.

The FAA is encouraging aircraft owners to inspect their planes and stop installing the truck beams. Boeing is still “gathering information,” spokeswoman Liz Verdier said.

Wood Dale, Ill.-based AAR said it “complies with the airworthiness directive and related alert service bulletins on behalf of the operator and ensures that the drain hole, which is the subject of the referenced airworthiness directive, is open.”

Boeing

Executive changes announced

Boeing named David Dohnalek as corporate treasurer, succeeding Paul Kinscherff, who has been appointed president of Boeing Middle East.

Kinscherff, who replaces retiring John Craig, will be based in Dubai.

Technology

State tops in growth of software jobs

Washington state ranked No. 1 among all states in software-sector job growth in 2006, according to a report being released today by AeA, a national technology trade organization.

The number of software jobs grew by 3,500 to 44,600 during the year, the latest for which statistics were available.

The report, “Cyberstates 2008,” found that the state added 6,300 jobs in the high-tech industry as a whole to reach 162,800. Total high-tech employment ranked 13th among the states.

Nationally, the report found that the industry added 91,400 jobs in 2007 for a total of 5.9 million, compared with 139,000 added in 2006.

Microsoft

Smartphone software updated

Microsoft on Tuesday showed off an update to its Windows Mobile software for smartphones, a category where it is facing substantial competition from Research in Motion’s BlackBerry and Apple’s iPhone.

The new version is aimed at making the software easier to use — an area where Windows Mobile is seen as having some catching up to do, particularly since the iPhone set a new standard for usability when it debuted last June.

Phones with the new software will be appearing in a few months, Microsoft said at the CTIA Wireless cellphone industry trade show in Las Vegas.

Amazon.com

New service: shop by texting

Amazon TextBuyIt, which launched late Tuesday, lets people text the name of a product, its description or its UPC or ISBN, to 262966 (that’s “Amazon” on the keypad) from anywhere their cellphones work — including from inside physical stores.

If Amazon.com stocks matching items, the service returns two results at a time. Shoppers can immediately buy an item by entering the e-mail address associated with their existing Amazon account plus a shipping ZIP code. The service then calls the shopper and walks through the checkout process using an automated voice system. Shoppers get confirmation by text message and e-mail.

CG Therapeutics

Cancer-drug venture planned

CG Therapeutics is launching a joint research program with top University of Washington scientists to develop a monoclonal antibody to fight cancer.

The antibody would be used in conjunction with the Seattle-based biotech company’s lead therapy, an experimental cancer vaccine currently in early-stage clinical trials. The program will be headed by UW researchers Karl Eric and Ingegerd Hellstrom.

Closely held CG Therapeutics said it plans to complete a $12 million funding round with venture capital firms and institutional investors.

Compiled from Bloomberg News, Seattle Times staff and The Associated Press