Scenic will leave airport in March PALMDALE – Palmdale Regional Airport is again facing the prospect of being without an airline after Scenic Airlines filed a notice with the federal government that it intends to pull out in March. Scenic filed a notice with the U.S. Department of Transportation indicating it will leave the market on March 13. The airline has operated out of Palmdale since Dec. 29, 2004. The notice of intent did not state a reason for terminating service, however, it has been known for months that the airline was struggling to get passengers. In August, the city bought $20,000 worth of tickets after airline officials told them at that time they were looking to pull out in October if passenger loads didn’t increase. Investors worry over GM shares DETROIT – General Motors Corp. shares, which have lost more than half their value since the beginning of the year, fell an additional 4 percent Wednesday as investors fretted about Los Angeles billionaire Kirk Kerkorian’s decision to sell part of his stake in the automaker. GM shares fell 80 cents to $19.05 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. That is their lowest level since 1982, according to Standard and Poor’s equity market analyst Howard Silverblatt. Legislation passed by the Senate on Wednesday would require broadcasters to end their traditional analog transmissions by Feb. 17, 2009, and send their signals digitally. Such technology promises supersharp pictures and better sound. The plan also would allocate as much as $1.5 billion for a “converter box” program to help people with older, analog TV sets that would lose their signal in the digital era. Consumer advocates say that is not enough money.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Kerkorian disclosed in a regulatory filing Tuesday that his sale of 12 million GM shares generated a loss that would be used to offset gains elsewhere in his investment company’s portfolio for tax purposes. But Robert Barry, an analyst with Goldman Sachs, said he suspects there are other factors at work, since the sales create such a high risk for Kerkorian’s remaining 44 million GM shares. UnitedHealth gets OK for PacifiCare MINNEAPOLIS – UnitedHealth Group Inc. has received final regulatory approval for its $9.2 billion purchase of PacifiCare Health Systems, the health insurer said Wednesday. UnitedHealth agreed to divest parts of PacifiCare’s commercial health insurance business in Tucson, Ariz., and Boulder, Colo., to satisfy antitrust regulator concerns, the Justice Department said. UnitedHealth also agreed to end its network access agreement with Blue Shield of California. Antitrust regulators objected to the arrangement because absorbing PacifiCare makes UnitedHealth one of Blue Shield of California’s main competitors, Justice said. Suit against Sony spyware expands AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott expanded his lawsuit against Sony BMG Music Entertainment on Wednesday, alleging that a second form of anti-piracy technology used by the label violates the state’s spyware and deceptive trade practices laws. Abbott sued Sony BMG in November, saying the world’s second-largest music label surreptitiously included spyware on millions of CDs through technology known as XCP. That technology, included on 52 Sony BMG titles, could leave computers vulnerable to hackers, he said. Senate sets new date for digital TV WASHINGTON – It’s still three years away, but there now is a firm date for the transition to all-digital television – the biggest change in the industry since color TV.