Friday, February 27, 2004

Tristate business summary

Local economic growth slows

The local economy continued growing in February, though somewhat slower than in January, according to a poll by the National Association of Purchasing Management-Cincinnati. The February poll showed that fewer local companies reported increases in production and employment than last month, but numbers of companies cutting back were very small. Compared to January, more companies in February reported order backlogs were rising.

Nuclear plant faces scrutiny

FirstEnergy Corp. agreed to tighter scrutiny of its Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in Oak Harbor, Ohio, a condition set by U.S. regulators to resume production. The plant's reactor has been idle since it was damaged two years ago. The Akron-based utility owner will have to inspect the repaired reactor vessel for leaks after about a year of operation and hire a consultant to audit the plant's safety programs for five years, according to a letter to the company from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Chi-Chi's closes Florence location

Louisville-based Chi-Chi's restaurant chain has closed 26 restaurants, including one in Florence, the company said Thursday. The locations were underperforming and had to be shut down as part of the company's bankruptcy reorganization, according to a statement from the Mexican restaurant chain. Chi-Chi's is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in Dover, Del., where it filed for protection from creditors in October. It was also hit recently by an outbreak of hepatitis A at the Beaver Valley Mall restaurant near Pittsburgh. At least 660 people were infected and three died in last fall's outbreak, traced to tainted green onions.

Staff/wire reports

Lindner back on list of the world's richest
Developer targets young first-time home buyers
Clear Channel DJs get message
Higher gas bills hurt businesses
U.S. Playing Card sold, stays
Chamber honors 3, installs leader
Durable-goods orders drop in January
March's bills higher than last year
E-mail slowdown blamed on virus
490,000 Steeltex tires for Ford Excursions recalled
Investment firm puts together venture fund
Advertisers help boost revenues
Tristate business summary
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