Originally created 08/31/97

Business briefs:AutoZone opens new store



The following is information about honors, awards, openings and other news pertaining to businesses and organizations in or of interest to the Augusta area:

AutoZone, the Memphis, Tenn.based retail auto parts chain, has opened a new store at 217 Fury's Ferry Road in Augusta. The 7,700square-foot store employs eight people and is open from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Sunday.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association announced two programs with its new national sponsor AT&T.

AT&T will donate AT&T SecureBuy Service that will enable MDA supporters to make secure "cyber" donations over the Internet for the first time in MDA's 47-year fund raising history. The Web site, www.mdausa.org, was designed and donated by AT&T Creative Alliance Program member Phoenix New Media, and can now accept online donations. Registered AT&T SecureBuy Service contributors who donate $25 or more online will receive 100 free minutes of AT&T Prepaid Calling Cards. AT&T will give away up to 2.5 million minutes. The site is being hosted by AT&T Web Site Services.

AT&T also has established a cause-related program in which it makes a payment to MDA based on participating customers' residential long distance usage. It is the first such program of this type AT&T has entered into with a major charity. For every new and existing customer who enrolls in the program, AT&T will make payments to MDA at no cost to the customer.

Total Systems Services Inc. of Columbus, Ga., (NYSE -TSS) will sponsor 40 students in an Intellectual Capital Partnership Program computer programmer education curriculum offered at Augusta State University through a joint study agreement with Columbus State University. The curriculum is scheduled to begin January 1998.

Electrical Equipment Co. of Augusta has been selected by Reliance Electric, a division of Rockwell Automation, to represent the company as its "5 Star" Distributor for motors and drives in this trading area. Electrical Equipment also will become an authorized "Key Parts" distributor for this area.

Georgia-Pacific Corp. announced that it has agreed to establish new procedures for resolving product warranty claims on exterior hardboard siding manufactured by the company as part of the settlement of a class-action lawsuit pending in Mobile, Ala.

Consumers who have or have had a structure with hardboard siding manufactured by Georgia-Pacific may be eligible to file claims or register their property and receive benefits under the settlement. The settlement, which has been preliminarily approved by the court, still must receive final court approval.

The overwhelming majority of homeowner claims received by Georgia-Pacific have resulted from a siding product manufactured at the company's Jarrat, Va., plant. Georgia-Pacific stopped manufacturing hardboard siding at this facility in 1987 because it did not meet the company's or its customers' quality expectations.

To ensure that it could continue to serve its customers, that same year the company purchased a facility in Catawba, S.C., which was and remains recognized as a quality leader in this product line. Georgia-Pacific also is enhancing the warranty on the Catawba siding, which reflects the confidence the company has in the quality of that product.

Homeowners who wish to participate in the settlement must file a claim form or a registration form for future claims by Aug. 18, 1998. To receive a claims package, call toll free (888) 882-5246, or for more information visit the Internet at http://www.gpclaims.com. If a future claim form is received, eligible claimants will have until Jan. 1, 2001, to file for compensation for Jarratt siding and Jan. 1, 2007, for Catawba siding.

State Labor Commissioner David Poythress has launched the first of many seminars that will be held throughout Georgia to assist employers in establishing a DrugFree Workplace. Companies with drug-free programs certified by the state will be granted a 7.5 percent reduction in their annual workers' compensation premiums for a maximum of eight years.

Employers who want to be certified as a drug-free work place may call the Georgia Department of Labor's Drug-Free Georgia office at (404) 657-2959. They will be given a manual outlining the requirements for certification, as well as other assistance they may need. Similar seminars are being scheduled throughout the state.

The Biz Briefs column is a free public service listing ofThe Augusta Chronicle. Typewritten information about businesses and organizations should be received no later than noon Tuesday.

Please send items to The Augusta Chronicle, Biz Briefs, Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903; bring them by the News Building at 725 Broad St.; or send a fax to (706) 722-7403. Include a contact name and phone number.