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Some of the greatest suffering is in small tourist towns that lack the economic diversity of bigger port cities. Yet they are last in line for federal money to deepen channels and repair infrastructure to support the boating traffic that keeps them afloat.

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RV industry's recovery gains speed in 2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) â¿¿ The RV industry's recovery from the Great Recession has picked up speed.

Recreational Vehicle makers are churning out higher numbers of travel trailers bound for dealers' lots and, ultimately, campgrounds.

Overall shipments from manufacturers to dealers â¿¿ a key measure of consumer demand â¿¿ are expected to rise 10 percent in 2012 and could gain another 4.5 percent next year, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association said Tuesday.

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ConAgra gobbles up store brands with Ralcorp deal

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ ConAgra Foods is set to become the nation's biggest maker of store-brand foods, with a $5 billion purchase of Ralcorp that expands its stake in the growing market for cereals, crackers and other packaged foods sold under private labels.

The deal announced Tuesday caps a year of acquisitions for ConAgra, which makes brands including Banquet, Chef Boyardee and Marie Callender's. The company, based in Omaha, Neb., also made multiple attempts to buy Ralcorp last year.

The latest bid for Ralcorp comes at a time when private-label brands â¿¿ also known as store brands or house brands â¿¿ are gaining popularity with price-conscious shoppers. Supermarkets and drug stores have also been working to improve the image of their brands as a way to control the rising costs for name brands.

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Executive embroiled in HP-Autonomy mess lashes out

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) â¿¿ An executive vilified by Hewlett-Packard Co. on allegations of an accounting ruse is escalating his counter-attack on the company accusing him.

In a letter to HP's board released Tuesday, former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch fiercely defended his integrity. He also questions whether HP is using the charges of financial shenanigans to cover up damage caused by its own ineptitude.

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