Originally created 09/25/01

Business briefs



YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Phar-Mor Inc. and some of its affiliates filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, the second time the discount drugstore chain has gone into bankruptcy court since 1992.

As part of its restructuring, Phar-Mor plans to close about 65 of its 139 stores during the next few weeks. It intends to operate the remaining stores while reducing corporate costs.

The company did not say which stores will close. Spokesman Gary Holmes said that information will be filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in about a week.

Phar-Mor has not disclosed how many employees will lose their jobs. A typical store has 10 to 15 full-time employees, along with part-time workers. Phar-Mor has 6,125 employees, and about 3,600 work full time.

Phar-Mor is seeking the court's supervision while it restructures with $135 million of financing through Fleet Retail Finance, Phar-Mor's primary secured lender.

When Phar-Mor filed for Chapter 11 protection Aug. 17, 1992, it had 25,000 employees and more than 300 stores in 33 states. It stayed in bankruptcy until September 1995.

Cafe donates to two charities

The Evans Village Cafe donated more than $5,700 Monday to two charities offering assistance to the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in New York.

The contribution represented all food sales and gratuities earned during four days of last week.

The restaurant at 4408 Evans to Locks Road gave $2,875 to the Augusta-based CSRA Community Foundation and $2,918 to the UFA Widows and Children's Fund/WTC.

IRS sets up help telephone line

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service has set up a special telephone line for taxpayers whose ability to meet their obligations was affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Taxpayers can call the IRS toll-free at (866) 562-5227 to get answers about tax issues related to the attacks.

"We don't want lingering tax questions to burden anyone during this challenging time," said IRS Comissioner Charles Rossotti.

The special telephone line will be active from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays.

Feds give college-loan reprieve

WASHINGTON - Military personnel who have been activated or reassigned because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will not have to make payments on federal college loans during their service, the Education Department said Monday.

Education Secretary Rod Paige also urged colleges to provide either a refund of tuition or a comparable credit to students who have been forced to withdraw from school for military service.

On Sept. 14, President Bush authorized calling up as many as 50,000 members of the National Guard and the military reserve. It was the first partial mobilization of the nation's 1.3 million reservists since January 1991, when 265,322 were called to active duty at the outset of the Persian Gulf War.

Borrowers who have not yet begun paying back college loans will retain the remainder of their six- to nine-month grace period after their military service ends.

Mix-up leads to margarine recall

WASHINGTON - A labeling mix-up that could pose a danger to people with dairy allergies is prompting the recall of 3,000 pounds of Fleischmann's margarine sold in Georgia and 18 other states.

Some Fleischmann's Original stick margarine was packaged in boxes labeled Fleischmann's Unsalted stick margarine. The original margarine contains whey, a dairy protein, that the unsalted version does not list as an ingredient.

Some people with dairy allergies run the risk of a serious, even life-threatening, allergic reaction if they eat the mislabeled margarine.

Consumers with dairy allergies should return the recalled margarine to the place of purchase for a refund, said manufacturer ConAgra Diary Foods, of Downers Grove, Ill.

To identify the recalled margarine, check for the following code - JAN 31 02 O N - near the "best if used by" date on boxes of Fleischmann's Unsalted stick margarine. Inside those boxes, the individually wrapped sticks will say "Fleischmann's Original."