Originally created 03/01/97

Business briefs: Globalnet completes local takeover



Speaker: Club must widen appeal

Rotary Club chapters nationwide should continue efforts to attract interest from women and young people, one of the club's top officials told representatives from eight area Rotary clubs on Friday.

Glenn Estess Sr., a Birmingham, Ala., resident who serves as aide to Rotary International President Louis Garvey, was the featured speaker at a program at the Sheraton Augusta Hotel.

Mr. Estess, a Rotarian since 1960, has served as a Rotary International district governor, international assembly discussion leader and other positions with the worldwide civic organization. Also attending Friday's program were three Rotary district governors.

Globalnet finishes takeover

Globalnet International Inc. has completed the acquisition of Internet CSRA of Augusta, Globalnet announced. Globalnet, which has a partnership with MCI, has operations in Augusta, North Augusta and Aiken, as well as nine other cities in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Britain and France.

AT&T center starts taking calls

The AT&T Information Services Center in Augusta received its first directory assistance call at 3:38 a.m. Thursday and is officially open for business, the company announced. The call originated from Asheville, N.C.

The center provides long-distance telephone listing information for AT&T customers. It will provide service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Economy cools off in quarter

WASHINGTON - The government cut its estimate of economic growth in the final three months of last year, but many economists said that was good news for growth in the first part of this year.

That's because the substantial downward revision by the Commerce Department on Friday - from a steamy 4.7 percent annual rate to a still-robust 3.9 percent rate - came almost entirely because of a slower buildup in inventories of unsold goods.

And that means any pickup in consumer demand will translate more quickly into production increases at the nation's factories.

In a separate report, the National Association of Realtors said sales of existing single-family homes edged up 2.1 percent to a 3.94 million annual rate in January. In 1996, 4.08 million homes sold, the most since 1978. In January, sales rose 3.6 percent to a 1.45 million annual rate in the South.

Dean Witter starts merger layoffs

NEW YORK - Dean Witter Discover & Co. said Friday it laid off 14 employees and plans to cut an additional 200 positions in investment banking and research by midyear because of its merger with Morgan Stanley Group Inc.

Dean Witter said it will try to minimize layoffs by placing employees in other positions within the merged company. It does not expect to cut any other positions because of the merger, spokesman Timothy Lee said.