Southern Oregon Goodwill President and CEO Gayle Byrne will retire at the end of September, concluding more than 37 years with the organization.

Southern Oregon Goodwill President and CEO Gayle Byrne will retire at the end of September, concluding more than 37 years with the organization.

During Byrne's tenure, Southern Oregon Goodwill has grown from four to 15 stores, extended its reach from two to six counties and expanded its services to an additional 3,000 people annually.

"Gayle has led Goodwill into tremendous growth and financial stability," said Jeri Keeton, board chair and a vice president at Washington Federal in Medford, in a statement.

In 2004, Byrne helped create Steps to Success, which applies a whole-family approach to employment. In 2013, the program expanded to serve families of veterans and active military.

Goodwill has opened five Job Connections Centers for those seeking employment with the first center opened in August 2012, Since then, more than 5,000 people have received assistance with resume preparation, interview skills and connecting with potential employers.

Bagley, Minn.-based Team Industries said Tuesday it will become an investor in electric motorcycle maker Brammo Inc.

Team Industries will design and develop drivetrains for the next generation of bikes made by Brammo, which moved to Talent at the beginning of the year.

"Both companies are innovators, and we have a strong cultural fit between our two organizations," Team President and CEO David Ricke said in a statement. "The electric vehicle market is a growth market."

The amount of Team Industries' investment was not disclosed.

Team Industries joins Brammo strategic partners: Polaris, Flextronics, Parker Hannifin, Sevcon, Marzocchi, Sapa and Amber Composites.

The average gallon of regular gas still cost more than $4 in Medford and Ashland this week, according to data compiled by AAA Oregon/Idaho.

Even as crude oil and wholesale gas prices slowly recede, states touching the Pacific Ocean have the highest prices.

Hawaii ($4.33), Alaska ($4.22), California ($4.14), Washington ($4.01), and Oregon ($3.98) have highest average prices.

The average per gallon of regular this week in Medford and Ashland is $4.004. Last week it sold for $4.021. A year ago, it was $3.732.

AAA expects prices to generally drift lower for the rest of the summer, barring major storms, unplanned refinery outages or political unrest.

WASHINGTON — Small-business owners were less optimistic about the economy last month, despite reporting their most ambitious job creation plans since 2007, according to a private survey released Tuesday.

The optimism index from the National Federation of Independent Business fell 1.6 points in June to 95, the first drop in four months. Driving the decline was a steep fall-off in the outlook for general business conditions six months from now.

The net difference between the percentage of owners who expected conditions to get better and those who expected conditions to get worse was negative 10 percent in June. The figure was zero the previous month, meaning small-business owners were evenly split on the question then but now more have a negative view.

Six of the survey's 10 categories showed declines from the previous month, including sales expectations as well as plans for capital spending and inventory expansion.

Compiled from staffand wire reports