Fire Museum donations to fund improvements

The Fire Museum of Maryland has received two anonymous donations totaling $185,000 that will help fund building improvements and pay for staff retention and utilities. A gift of $160,000 was left in the will of a longtime supporter, and interest from that gift will be used to help cover operating expenses and pay for visits by school groups, according to museum representative Rob Williams. A gift of $25,000 will be used to cover rising utility costs and other expenses, he said. The money comes just as public funding for history museums has been cut back due to the recession. Located at 1301York Road in Lutherville, the fire museum was established in 1971 and has grown to contain one of country's largest collections of fire engines and related equipment.

- Edward Gunts

Best Buy to sell health, fitness technology

Electronics store Best Buy said Wednesday that it is expanding into the health and fitness market. The retailer is now selling treadmills, ellipticals, pedometers, heart rate watches and other items at 40 stores, including a store in Bel Air in Maryland. Best Buy's Geek Squad will help consumers meld technology with fitness equipment. For instance, they can help add surround sound to a home gym or download workout data to a home computer.

- Andrea K. Walker

Macy's encouraged despite posting quarterly loss

As it heads into the holiday shopping season, Macy's Inc. might be on shakier ground than some thought. The department store chain said Wednesday that it lost money during the third quarter and predicted that it would earn less during the holidays than Wall Street analysts had expected. That raised concerns that Christmas spending could be weak and sent Macy's shares tumbling. Retail giants Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Kohl's Corp. are scheduled to release their earnings today. The Cincinnati-based retailer lost $35 million during the three months ended Oct. 31, or 8 cents a share. That was a smaller loss compared with the same quarter last year, when the company lost $44 million, or 10 cents a share. Sales were also down, falling 3.8 percent to $5.3 billion from $5.5 billion in the third quarter of 2008, when retail sales began to fall quickly. .

- Tribune Newspapers

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