Archive for Thursday, February 1, 2001

Briefcase

February 1, 2001

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New car wash braces for western growth

A new car wash is ready to clean up along the city's western edge.

Wakarusa Court Car Wash opens today at 4900 Wakarusa Court, northwest of Clinton Parkway and Wakarusa Drive. It is Lawrence's first car wash west of Wakarusa.

"The growth potential is almost unlimited," said Jeff Hatfield, who co-owns the place with Doug Compton.

The business cost more than $1 million to create and has six self-service cleaning bays, one automatic bay and seven vacuum slots. It also uses a "reverse-osmosis" treatment for water, which creates a spot-free rinse, Hatfield said.

earnings

AOL Time Warner posts $1 billion net loss

AOL Time Warner, in its first combined earnings report since merging Jan. 11, announced a net loss of more than $1 billion, citing a more than half-billion dollar downward evaluation of its investment portfolio and other expenses.

Even so, its pretax earnings rose 14 percent in the fourth quarter from a year ago.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, AOL Time Warner said it lost $1.09 billion, or 25 cents a share, in contrast to a loss of $201 million, or 5 cents per share, a year ago.

agriculture

Many farmers violate rules for biotech planting

Nearly 30 percent of farmers who grew biotech corn last year violated planting restrictions designed to keep insects from becoming resistant to the crop, a survey shows.

The planting rules, which took effect last year, require 20 percent of a farmers' corn acreage to be of conventional varieties; conventional corn also must be planted within a half mile of the biotech crops.

Some 71 percent of farmers complied with both the size and distance requirements, according to the survey, which was filed Wednesday with the Environmental Protection Agency by the biotech industry.

More than 90 percent of the growers thought they had followed the rules, but many couldn't identify the correct restrictions when questioned for the survey.

economy

New-home sales post biggest gain in 7 years

Sales of new homes posted a sizable 13.4 percent increase in December, the biggest monthly gain in more than seven years.

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that sales of new single-family homes rebounded last month following a bigger than previously reported 7.1 percent drop in November sales.

With the December rebound, sales for all of 2000 totaled 898,000, a drop of 1 percent from the all-time high for new-home sales of 907,000 in 1999.

television

CNNfn changes strategy

The struggling CNNfn financial news network is changing its name and programming strategy, with the promise of assistance from other divisions of AOL Time Warner.

The network will be known as CNN Money and will concentrate on personal finance issues when the market is closed, representatives said Wednesday.

CNNfn never was able to establish itself as a strong competitor in a business news market dominated by the CNBC cable channel.

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