Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Free tax prep service launches Auntie Anne's hits 1,000 stores New Holland firm gets state grant 4 county firms get Keystone credits German beer drinking hits low
The United Way of Lancaster County's free tax-preparation service has started helping eligible taxpayers fill out their 2012 returns.
The service is offered to low- and moderate-income taxpayers through the Internal Revenue Service's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
A record 2,900 taxpayers here are expected to use the service this year, provided by a record 175 volunteers at 18 locations across the county.
For more information on the VITA program, or to schedule an appointment, call the United Way at 2-1-1 or go to freetaxpreplancaster.org.
Auntie Anne's, the Lancaster-based soft-pretzel chain, has opened its 1,000th U.S. store.
The landmark store debuted Dec. 24 in Elizabethtown, Ky., one of 117 domestic locations and 85 foreign locations opened in 2012.
Now with 1,330 stores worldwide, Auntie Anne's anticipates opening 100 more stores in the U.S. and 118 more stores in foreign countries this year.
Auntie Anne's, which turns 25 years old Feb. 2, is eyeing its traditional sites such as shopping centers as well as atypical spaces such as universities, airports and Walmarts.
The state Department of Environmental Protection said Wednesday it has awarded a $4,350 Small Business Advantage Grant to a local company.
New Holland Bulk Carriers was among 32 small businesses statewide to share in $240,000 to help them purchase energy-efficient or pollution-prevention equipment.
The company will put the grant toward the purchase of an $8,700 anti-idling device, which prevents excessive diesel-engine idling, saving fuel and reducing pollution.
Four technology companies here are among 179 in Keystone Innovation Zones across Pennsylvania to receive state tax credits.
The Department of Community and Economic Development said Tuesday that the local recipients and the amount of their tax credits are:
Mission Research, $100,000; Nxtbook Media, $75,000; QUANTA Technologies, $100,000; and MIND Development & Design, $24,000.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Germans are emptying fewer beer steins.
Consumption of the national beverage fell by 1.8 percent last year to the lowest level since West and East Germany reunified in 1990.
Germans drank 96.5 million hectoliters of beer last year. That's 2.55 billion gallons.