Saddam Hussein has been nominated for the Florida Solar Energy Industries Association's annual ''Solar Man of the Year Award.'' The award is given to the person who has contributed most to the development and use of solar energy in the Sunshine State.

Retail sales growth was mixed last month. An index of 17 leading chains compiled by Merrill Lynch indicated that sales at stores open at least a year rose 5.7 percent in July from a year earlier, little different from June's 5.8 percent year-to-year gain.

Delta and United Airlines joined most other major U.S. air carriers in raising air fares in response to rising fuel prices. The carriers declared 5.3 percent fare hikes beginning Wednesday, but United's increase applies only to domestic flights. Eastern Air Lines said it is reviewing its fares and could make an announcement today.

Bank First of McLean completed its merger with United Bankshares of Charleston, W.Va., a $10 million deal that was first announced in December. David Cordingley, chairman of Bank First, which has $25 million in assets, said the bank will retain its name, location, board of directors and staff.

The 350 thrifts controlled by the government lost a total of $3.1 billion during the first quarter, down from a loss of $6.4 billion in the previous quarter, the Resolution Trust Corp. said.