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Delta, pilots reach
tentative agreement
Delta Air Lines and its pilots union reached a tentative agreement on a new contract Sunday, ending fears the nation's third-largest airline would be crippled by a strike by the end of the month. The agreement, which requires the approval of the union's rank-and-file, came after a weekend of talks with the National Mediation Board in Washington. Link to story

SunTrust in talks for
Citigroup's Robinson-Humphrey
Citigroup is in talks to sell the capital-markets division of its Robinson-Humphrey unit to SunTrust Banks, to bolster SunTrust's investment-banking expertise, the Wall Street Journal said. Citing people familiar with the situation, the paper said in its online edition on Monday the talks were far along but still could fall apart. Link to story

State wrestles
with Medicaid drug costs
Struggling to control Medicaid drug costs, the Georgia Department of Community Health is set this month to lay down three new measures that will significantly change the way state Medicaid patients get their prescriptions filled. Link to story

Developers eye more
retail in North Fulton
A race to develop high-end retail is taking shape in north Fulton County. At least three prominent developers are working on plans and wooing anchor tenants for the first upscale retail development in the area. But potential problems, from limited sewer capacity to the expansion of Georgia 400 to political pressure to slow development, could stand in the way. Link to story

Dunkin Donuts' birthplace bracing for invasion by Krispy Kreme
Dunkin' Donuts stores are crammed into this Boston suburb like breakfast pastries in a box. There's a full dozen Dunkin shops in this city where the chain was founded 50 years ago, a stronghold that has long been conceded even by local competitors. But now a doughnut war may be rising and a coffee battle brewing. Link to story

Many high-tech firms
see end of downturn
Now that most high-tech giants have reported quarterly results, a consensus is building that the second quarter will be the bottom of the downturn in high-tech spending and that companies can better forecast how the rest of the year will shape up. Link to story

Ted Turner says
AOL fired him
If Ted Turner's account is accurate, it was AOL Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin who fired the famous Atlanta resident, even though Levin quibbles over the semantics. "I didn't fire him," the New Yorker's Ken Auletta quoted Levin as saying. "I said, 'This was the way we need to run the company.'" Link to story

BellSouth's first-quarter
net falls 11 percent
BellSouth, the No. 3 U.S. local telephone company, on Thursday posted an 11 percent drop in first-quarter net income due to costs to build its data and wireless businesses, and reaffirmed its growth forecasts for 2001. Atlanta-based BellSouth's net income fell to $891 million, or 47 cents a share, compared with $1.0 billion, or 53 cents a share, just a year ago. Link to the story

Atlanta's UPS operating
income off 14 percent
United Parcel Service said on Thursday its first-quarter operating earnings fell 14 percent, and warned that second-quarter profits would be at the low end of estimates due to the weakened U.S. economy. UPS, the world's largest package delivery company, reported operating income of $582 million, or 51 cents a share, as revenues rose 4 percent to $7.5 billion. Link to the story

Georgia-Pacific loses $137 Million
Georgia-Pacific Group lost $137 million during the first quarter, largely because of a moribund market for wood products and costs associated with closing a pulp mill and chemical plant in Washington state. The loss, equal to 61 cents per share, includes an $82 million charge associated with closing Georgia-Pacific's plant in Bellingham, Wash., which employed 420 people.
Link to the story

First Union buys it, but new
bank will be called Wachovia
For executives plotting the First Union merger with rival Wachovia Corp., the question wasn't which name to pin on the merged company but whether customers could pronounce it. Although First Union has spent millions of dollars promoting its distinctive green logo, the merged company will adopt the name Wachovia , which reflects its roots in North Carolina but admittedly may not translate well in its markets in the U.S. East Coast and the Southeast. Link to story

Delta's Comair cutting fleet,
dropping 200 pilot positions
Comair will reduce its fleet from 119 to 102 aircraft and eliminate 200 pilot positions, management said. The cuts are needed to keep Comair financially viable for when flights resume, company officials said.
Link to the story

S Fulton hospital gets new
owner, vows improvements
Tenet Healthcare Corp. said on Monday that it bought the bankrupt South Fulton Medical Center in Atlanta, giving the nation's second largest hospital chain five hospitals in the area. As part of the purchase agreement for South Fulton Medical Center, Tenet has committed to invest $10 million in general improvements. Link to story

First Union buys
Wachovia for $13B
First Union has agreed to buy Wachovia for about $13 billion in stock, providing potential cost cutting advantages and uniting two independent North Carolina banking rivals, the Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition on Monday. Link to story

Kellogg's think Fulton
site is 'Grrrrreat!'
After reviewing nearly 20 options, Kellogg Co. has found a location that's "Grrrrreat!" The Michigan-based breakfast giant has zeroed in on a South Fulton Parkway site owned by Majestic Realty Co. for a new 900,000-square-foot distribution center. The building likely will cost $25 million to $30 million to build. Link to story

Car, truck sales
hit the brakes
Sales of new cars and trucks in Atlanta hit a slick spot in the first two months of the year, a bad sign for an economy struggling to stay on the road. Sales in Atlanta dropped 17.6 percent according to industry statistics compiled by The Polk Co., a Missouri-based industry tracking firm. Dealers sold 36,487 new cars and trucks in January and February, down from 44,281 during the first two months of 2000. Link to story

GA Power seeks rate hike for natural-gas electric plants
Georgia Power Co. wants to add $1.25 to $1.50 to the typical residential bill to cover increased fuel costs caused by higher natural gas prices and lower productivity of hydroelectric power plants because of the drought. In addition to the average 2 percent rate increase, Georgia Power went to the Public Service Commission this week to outline plans to increase reliance on natural gas to produce electricity. Link to story

Earthlink loses 'real
internet' lead to MSN
Microsoft said Wednesday its MSN Internet service has exceeded 5 million subscribers, narrowly surpassing the subscriber base of rival Internet service provider Earthlink, which claims about 4.7 million subscribers. That puts Microsoft's service in second place behind No. 1 America Online, which has about 28 million subscribers.
Link to story

Coke relaunches Fanta
to target Hispanics
Coca-Cola keen to boost sales in California's fast-growing Hispanic community, announced on Tuesday the launch of a new apple-flavored soft drink and the reintroduction of its popular fruit-flavored Fanta brand in stores in and around Los Angeles and San Diego.
Link to story

Equifax will fight identity
theft with new service
Atlanta's credit giant Equifax is combating the growing problem of identity theft by sending e-mail alerts to customers of its credit monitoring service about significant new entries in their credit files that were not initiated by them. Link to story

Kozmo.Com goes kaput
Online convenience store Kozmo will cease operations, lay off 1,100 workers -- including Atlanta employees -- and begin liquidating assets. The New York-based company dispatched legions of orange-clad deliverymen to cart goods to customers' doors. Link to story

Coke Enterprises CEO
plans to step down
Coca-Cola Enterprises chairman Summerfield Johnston Jr. is stepping down as chief executive officer and will be replaced by vice chairman Lowry Kline, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Thursday. ``I'm old and tired. It's not been the most pleasant year of my life,'' said Johnston, who is the second-largest shareholder in the bottling company, which is 40 percent owned by Coca-Cola. Link to story

McQuirk will try to
spruce up Turner Sports
Terence F. McGuirk is taking over as head of Turner Sports Teams, pledging a sharper focus on winning for the company's struggling basketball and hockey franchises. Link to story

UPS lands its
first China flights
United Parcel Service landed its first cargo planes in China last week, the culmination of a 19-month, multimillion dollar lobbying campaign. Known for its brown, box-shaped delivery trucks, UPS won its new China air route from the Transportation Department after persuading a remarkable two-thirds of the House and Senate to serve as company pitchmen, Link to story

Airline to charge
extra for paper tickets
American Airlines says it begin charging $10 per passenger for paper tickets on the same day the company became the world's largest airline. The only customers who will be charged are those who buy tickets for American and American Eagle through the Web site, AA reservations centers, at Travel Centers and at airports.
Link to story

Help on the way
for CNN: Lou Dobbs returning
Business news anchor Lou Dobbs has agreed to return to CNN's "Moneyline" in a move the network hopes will boost the once-successful show he started 20 years ago, The New York Times reported Tuesday. Dobbs quit in 1999 after feuding with Rick Kaplan, CNN USA president. Before his departure, Dobbs was considered the leading financial news anchor and "Moneyline" was CNN's most profitable program. Link to story

Turner's rival makes grab
for television network
Fox Network chairman Rupert Murdoch is considering a move on Russia's NTV that could push aside Ted Turner's rescue plan for the embattled television station, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
Link to story

Delta, pilots union
to meet on April 18
The National Mediation Board said on Monday it set a mediation session for April 18 between Delta Air Lines and its pilots union, which are in a cooling-off period preceding a potential strike.
Link to story

Natural gas rates could
go up by 25 percent here
Blackouts and brownouts are unlikely in Georgia because a for-profit regulatory system gives suppliers an incentive to build more generating plants. But rising costs for natural gas, which fuels almost all new electric plants, could increase residential electric bills by 25 percent.
Link to story

Home Depot gives
$10,000 to help SciTrek
The Home Depot has donated $10,000 to Atlanta's financially ailing SciTrek museum and will spruce up the museum's exterior. On April 10, Home Depot's volunteer group "Team Depot" will repaint the 13-year-old building and clean up museum grounds.
Link to story

AOL Time-CNN employees
walking on eggshells
Wall Street has learned at least one thing about Bob Pittman, the chief operating officer of AOL Time Warner: When Pittman says he'll deliver, he does. Small wonder, then, that the 88,000 employees of AOL Time Warner, the world's largest media company, are walking on eggshells these days. Link to story

Plug pulled on NBCi
All the advertising in the world couldn't help it, so General Electric is pulling the plug on NBCi as an independent entity. It'll still be online, albeit a shadow of its former self. Link to story

Making Dobbins into an
airport is contentious issue
Recently, Cobb County officials began commenting publicly about the possibility of converting Marietta's Dobbins Air Reserve Base into a secondary Atlanta airport. It's a very contentious issue. Link to story

Georgia farmers
eyeing cloned cattle
New developments in animal cloning could spell big things for Georgia's $267 million-a-year beef industry. If a small Athens-based cloning company called ProLinia Inc. has anything to do with it, beef in Georgia could one day rival the state's lucrative poultry industry.
Link to story

Weight Watchers to fight
the bulge in Atlanta
Maybe it's Atlantans' love of all foods deeply fried. Whatever the reason, Weight Watchers sees the Southeast as an expanding marketplace. Weight Watchers International, sold off from ketchup king Heinz two years ago, has entered the Atlanta market this year after purchasing a string of self-help groups.
Link to story

Austell's Threadmill mall to
be revived asoffice building
Things looked bleak for Austell's Threadmill Mall when it closed its doors almost three years ago. The 230,000-square-foot former Coats & Clark textile plant was renovated into a retail mall back in 1996 and was expected to pump millions into the south Cobb County economy.
Link to story

AOL's Braves new world
The opening week of the baseball season typically sparks discussions about starting lineups and season predictions for Atlanta's home team. But this season a much weightier debate has emerged about whether the Braves' new owner, AOL Time Warner Inc., will successfully nurture the team like Ted Turner and Time Warner did. Link to story

Georgia fish farmer
sees future in frogs
Southerners have been trying, and failing, to make money raising frogs for decades. Experts say it would take a large leap of faith to believe a Georgia farmer has come up with a way to produce frog legs that can compete with imports from Asia or Latin America. But Ken Holyoak, a south Georgia fish farmer, can't believe that Americans can't compete with other countries at something as simple as raising frogs.
Link to story

Delta best ranked
for passenger service
The experiences of airline customers declined in quality for another year, despite customer service plans implemented by the airlines. Nevertheless, Delta got the best marks for service.
Link to story

Tenet bid to acquire South Fulton approved by court
Hospital operator Tenet Healthcare said Wednesday its bid to acquire South Fulton Medical Center through a subsidiary was accepted by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court here. The hospital will add to Tenet's presence in Atlanta which includes four acute-care hospitals in the greater Atlanta area. Tenet expects to take over the hospital on April 16.
Link to story

Coke to show 'movie'
in MARTA tunnel
Coca-Cola is looking to new depths for its advertising. The beverage giant plans to use a 900-foot stretch of tunnel on Atlanta's MARTA subway to display lighted posters for its water brand, Dasani. As subway trains move past the posters, the posters will appear as a 20-second motion picture to riders. The effect will be similar to a child's flip book. Link to story

Pepsi has Britney, so Coke gets Christina for commercials
What's next, Jessica Simpson shilling for RC Cola? Just three days after Britney Spears gyrated for Pepsi during the Oscar telecast, Coca-Cola has announced that her teen-popster rival, Christina Aguilera, will have a Coke and a smile for its next batch of commercials.
Link to story
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