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Business briefs

Ellis begins at Tumwater chamber group

TUMWATER - Melissa Ellis began work this week as the Tumwater Area Chamber of Commerce's executive director.

She replaces Corrine Tobeck, who left last month to become liaison to the Lewis County Board of Commissioners.

Ellis comes to the chamber after working as program coordinator for membership of the Washington Association for the Education of Young Children in Kent.

Ellis majored in sociology at Whitworth University in Spokane. She said one of her first tasks would be to increase the chamber's membership of about 250.

Banking

Dividends on way for Venture shareholders

DUPONT - Venture Financial Group Inc., parent company to Venture Bank, will pay shareholders a cash dividend of 8.5 cents next month, the company announced Thursday.

The dividend will be paid on Nov. 9 to all shareholders of record as of Oct. 29, the company said.

The dividend is the 35th consecutive quarterly dividend to be paid to shareholders.

Earnings

Google expands, still sees profits rise 46%

SAN FRANCISCO - Google Inc.'s third-quarter profit soared by 46 percent, hurdling the enormous expectations that have elevated the Internet search leader's stock price by more $100 during the past month.

The Mountain View-based company said Thursday that it earned $1.07 billion, or $3.38 per share, for the three months ended in September, up from net income of $733.4 million, $2.36 per share, at the same time last year.

If not for the cost of awarding stock to its steadily expanding work force, Google said it would have earned $3.91 per share. That topped the average estimate of $3.78 per share among analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

Resources

Crude oil briefly exceeds record of $90 per barrel

NEW YORK - Oil prices surpassed $90 a barrel for the first time Thursday as the falling dollar drew new foreign investors and speculators to dollar-denominated energy futures.

Light, sweet crude for November delivery hit $90.02 in electronic trading Thursday evening before returning to around $89.60. Earlier, prices had risen $2.07 to settle at a record $89.47 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

While oil prices have risen sharply in dollar terms in recent days, the steadily weakening dollar means oil futures are seen as a bargain overseas. Data released in recent weeks shows speculative buying of oil futures is on the rise. Buying by foreign investors sends prices up, which draws more speculators into the market.

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