Archive for Wednesday, December 20, 2000

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December 20, 2000

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Philip Morris, RJR raise cigarette prices

Philip Morris Cos. Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings have raised their wholesale cigarette prices by 14 cents a pack.

Philip Morris increased wholesale prices $7 per 1,000 cigarettes, or $1.40 per carton. R.J. Reynolds said it would raise the price 14 cents on each premium-brand pack and 7 1/2 cents on private-label cigarettes.

The companies did not disclose how the increase might affect retail prices.

Insurance

Workers compensation costs to rise in 2001

Most Kansas companies will pay another 3.3 percent for workers compensation coverage next year, the first increase in six years, the Kansas Insurance Department announced Tuesday.

But rates for employers in the "assigned risk" pool who cannot obtain coverage in the voluntary market will jump by an average of 17 percent, Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius said.

Both sets of rates are lower than those recommended by the 2001 National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc., a Florida organization that files such rates, Sebelius said.

Aviation

Boeing to modify FedEx freighters

Boeing Co. has landed a contract with FedEx Corp. to convert 19 MD-11 passenger jets to freighters, the companies announced Tuesday.

Terms were not disclosed.

Boeing Airplane Services' work on the first airplane is to begin in the second half of 2002, with the final conversion to be completed by late 2006. No site has been determined.

Airbus launches superjumbo jet

Billed as more of a cruise ship than an airplane, the Airbus Industrie superjumbo jet officially was launched Tuesday a 555-passenger mammoth that will surpass Boeing Co.'s 747 as the world's largest passenger plane.

The launch of the A380 a double-decker aircraft featuring staircases, wider aisles and room for gyms, casinos and lounges is the latest salvo in the battle between Airbus and Seattle-based Boeing for dominance of the skies.

Airbus already has received 50 firm orders and 42 options for the superjumbo.

Emporia

Press manufacturer to cut 97 jobs

A company that makes offset printing presses plans to lay off nearly 100 employees and seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, officials of the firm said Tuesday.

Didde Web Press Corp. had 250 employees after laying off 34 people in October 1999.

Company president Dave Thompson said the company owed a "substantial" debt after it closed a Florida operation in November.

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