Archive for Monday, February 5, 2001

Nation Briefs

February 5, 2001


New York City
Phillips Petroleum to acquire refiner

Phillips Petroleum Co. has agreed to acquire Tosco Corp. for $7 billion in stock, creating the nation's second-largest oil refiner and one of the largest gasoline retailers.

The transaction was approved by the boards of both companies on Sunday and is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2001.

Under terms of the deal, Phillips will assume approximately $2 billion in Tosco debt.

Valuing Tosco shares at $46.50, Phillips is offering 0.80 of one of its shares for each share of Tosco. Tosco shares closed Friday at $34.61 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Tosco, Greenwich, Conn., is currently the country's third-largest refiner. Eight refineries in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington have the capacity to process 1.35 million barrels of oil per day. Combined, the companies would process about 1.7 million barrels a day.

Tosco has 6,400 gas stations in 32 states, operating under the brands "76" and Circle K, the nation's No. 2 convenience store chain.

Tejano band's drummer killed

A bus chartered by the Grammy-winning Tejano band Los Palominos ran a stop sign, throwing out a passenger, who was killed when the bus ran over him, police said.

Drummer Jesse Arreola, 31, was thrown into a ditch, where the bus ran over him, said Veronica Diaz of the Calhoun County Sheriff's Department.

The driver apparently was distracted by a conversation with Arreola when the accident occurred near Port LaVaca, Diaz said.

Arreola's brothers and fellow band members, James, Johnny and George Arreola, the driver and an unidentified passenger suffered minor injuries. The driver's name was not released.

Last year, Los Palominos won best Tejano performance at the Grammy Awards and the Latin Grammy Awards for their song, "Por Eso Te Amo." They received comeback album of the year at the 20th annual Tejano Music Awards.

Washington, D.C.
University killing ruled homicide

A student found dead in his dorm room at Gallaudet University, a school for the hearing-impaired, was stabbed to death, District of Columbia police said Sunday.

Benjamin Varner, 19, of San Antonio, Texas, had multiple stab wounds to the head and body, said police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile.

He was found Saturday morning in a fourth-floor dorm room of Cogswell Hall. That is the same dormitory where freshman Eric F. Plunkett, 19, of Burnsville, Minn., was found beaten to death in a first-floor room Sept. 28.

Police Chief Charles Ramsey said there is no evidence of a link between the two deaths, but investigators are looking into the possibility that there could be a connection.

Powerball jackpot rises to $53 million

None of the tickets sold for the Powerball game Saturday night matched all six numbers drawn in Des Moines to win the $47 million jackpot. The prize goes to an estimated $53 million for Wednesday.

Tickets that match the first five numbers, but miss the Powerball, win $100,000 each, and there were eight of those. They were sold in Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, Wisconsin and Virginia.

There also was no winner Saturday night in the Kansas Cash drawing in Topeka, worth an estimated $110,000.

Today's drawing will be worth an estimated $120,000.

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