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BUSINESS NEWS FOR TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 2004
Fuel prices loosening grip
Area gasoline prices continued to tumble Monday, and analysts said the worst might be over for now, although prices remain more than 40 cents higher in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky than at this time last year.
Enquirer study of area gas prices (PDF, 236k)

Plan's dilemma: Drop-Inn Center
The private development group seeking to recharge Over-the-Rhine told Cincinnati City Council on Monday that relocating two schools and expanding Washington Park is critical to spurring new housing development in the blocks surrounding the park.

Workers: Kroger to buy 8 Thriftways
Kroger Co. is in talks to buy at least eight Thriftway supermarkets in Greater Cincinnati that are preparing to close next week, store managers and employees at the stores said Monday.

New flights, faster
In an effort to ease one of the biggest headaches of air travel, Delta Air Lines is automating its services for passengers whose flights are delayed or canceled.
Tech Tuesday: Cable phone service works, but will consumers buy it?

Windows XP users can set default to play music CDs automatically
Question: When I put a music CD in my Windows XP system, it always asks me what it should do. How can I make the computer simply play the music?

Business meetings this week
Announcements of meetings and seminars, and instructions for listing your event.
The Week Ahead

Business People
Promotions & new on the job.
MORE BUSINESS NEWS
Tristate business digest
Erlanger-based regional carrier Comair earned an operating profit of $19.3 million in the first quarter of 2004, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Transportation Department.

Bob Evans buys chain in West
COLUMBUS - Bob Evans Farms is buying the 81-store Mimi's Cafe for $103 million in cash, giving the restaurant and sausage company its first presence in California, the company said Monday.

AK Steel workers OK new contract
Middletown-based AK Steel, which says it needs to revise agreements with all its unions to stay competitive, said Monday it obtained a new three-year contract with the United Auto Workers, representing 160 employees at its Rockport, Ind., finishing mill.

Microsoft works to fortify small-business division
SEATTLE - News that Microsoft Corp. discussed a merger with business software giant SAP AG has focused new attention on Microsoft's limited success in a market it would love to conquer.

Omnicare takeover fight turns into war of words
On the night of March 2, the chief executives of Omnicare and NeighborCare set aside their nursing home rivalry long enough to enjoy dinner together in Miami Beach.

Retail sales increase by 1.2 percent in May
WASHINGTON - The appetite of America's shoppers returned in May, boosting sales at the nation's retailers by 1.2 percent, a fresh sign the economic recovery is on solid footing.

Hostile work suits widened
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that workers who quit over sexual harassment can sue their former employers but that companies should have a better chance to defend themselves.

Nations' hope: better living by free trade
SAO PAULO, Brazil - Amid a clamor by poor countries for international agricultural trade reform, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Brazil's president said Monday that free trade must be used to raise global living standards.

Business digest
WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve cleared the way Monday for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. to combine with and absorb Chicago-based Bank One Corp., forming the nation's second-largest bank with more than $1 trillion in assets.


NEWS TIPS
Has your job been sent off-shore?
The Enquirer would like to hear from you. If you know of any companies in the Cincinnati area that have transferred jobs or outsourced work -- at the expense of local jobs -- to nations wiph lower labor costs, please e-mail us.

SPECIAL COVERAGE
Special Report: P&G's Russian Frontier
In a three-day series, The Enquirer's Cliff Peale reports from Russia on Procter & Gamble's manufucturing and marketing drive there and the implications for Greater Cincinnati.
SUNDAY STORIES:
Booming market bears potential and challenge
It's not like Kroger: 'Stores' make selling a challenge
New economy holds instability and risk
Overseas sales have big impact back home
MONDAY STORIES:
Making cleaning products, two worlds meet
Q&A: Former dancer takes giant leap
TUESDAY STORIES:
Europe teaches lessons about style
Vanity products are a gamble for Procter


Erpenbeck archive
William Erpenbeck Jr. spent a decade building a company that crumbled in months. Once one of the Tristate's biggest home builders, the Erpenbeck Co. succumbed to a bank fraud that affected lenders, subcontractors and home owners. Click here for links to all Enquirer reports.