Avista Utilities natural gas customers will see a price drop starting Nov. 1.

Oregon’s natural gas arrives through pipelines connected to gas fields in Canada and the Rocky Mountain region. The Oregon Public Utility Commission said a reduction in the average cost of gas is the result of continued increases in natural gas supplies coupled with an overall reduction in customer demand.

Last winter was warmer than normal, reducing demand and leading to lower wholesale prices in the winter and spring. The downward pressure on wholesale prices has continued due to an abundance of natural gas in storage and continued high natural gas production levels.

Monthly residential customers using an average of 46 therms per month will see billings fall by $3.36, or from $59.21 to $55.84. Commercial rates will fall 6.9 percent and industrial users will see an 11.9 percent drop.

The PUC approved lower natural gas rates beginning Nov. 1, 2016. The commission approves rate adjustments once a year to reflect the actual cost of the wholesale price of natural gas.


Saturday forum offers business help

The 14th Rogue Valley Business Resource Forum is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the RCC/SOU Higher Education Center, 101 S. Bartlett St., Medford.

Attendees can consult with representatives from banking, insurance, government and local trade organizations, and get tips from experienced entrepreneurs.

Seminars include Leadership, Internet Marketing 101, How to Start Your Business, How to Raise $100,000 with Crowdfunding, Conquer Your Fear of Finances, Marketing with Integrity, Understanding Financial Institutions, Social Marketing, and Understanding and Managing by the Numbers.

To register, go to www.roguebizforum.com


Agricultural seminars slated for February

SAIF Corp. will present free, half-day agricultural safety seminars in Central Point Feb. 6-7.

The Feb. 6 session will be in English, and the Feb. 7 in Spanish. Both events are in the Mace Building at The Expo.

The seminars are designed for owners, operators, supervisors, foremen and anyone working in the agricultural industry, but anyone is welcome.

Small agricultural employers attending the seminar will meet one of the four requirements that exempt small agricultural operations from random OSHA inspections.

The Landscape Contractors Board has approved the seminar for four hours of continuing education credits. The Department of Consumer & Business Services has approved the seminar for four hours of producer continuing education credits.

To register online, go to saif.com/agseminar or call 800-285-8525.