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Archive for Saturday, June 7, 2003

Briefly

June 7, 2003

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Cowboy event to draw expected crowd of 2,000

About 2,000 people are expected to attend a cowboy trade show today in North Lawrence.

Lawrence businessman Rob Phillips will play host to the RP Bar Ranch Cowboy Gathering and Trade Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the grounds of his bed and breakfast, Victorian Veranda Country Inn, 1431 N. 1900 Road.

The event will have about 40 different vendors and entertainers. There is a $3 admission charge for adults. There is no charge for children ages 12 and under.

Phillips, general manager of the downtown Lawrence Eldridge Hotel, has been organizing several cowboy-oriented events in an attempt to attract new visitors to Lawrence.

Above, Angel Hunter, 7, Olathe, is flanked by Mollie Bramble, 9, left, and Erin Bramble, 7, both of Des Moines, Iowa, in a stage coach Friday while vendors set up for the event.

Economy: Consumer debt rises

Consumers, despite job worries, increased their borrowing in April by the largest amount since the beginning of the year.

The Federal Reserve reported Friday that consumer credit shot up by a seasonally adjusted $10.7 billion, or at a brisk annual rate of 7.3 percent. That marked the biggest increase in both dollar terms and percentage terms since January.

"Consumers were responding to very attractive interest rates for various goods, especially automobiles," said Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Banc of America Capital Management.

The increase pushed total consumer debt up to $1.76 trillion.

Labor:Dairy workers strike

About 200 union workers were striking at seven Roberts Dairy Co. plants Friday, claiming unfair labor practices involving drivers and dairy employees.

About a dozen workers picketed outside a downtown Omaha, Neb., plant after Teamsters Local 554 went on strike Thursday night.

The union announced the strike Friday in a news release after the end of an extended worker contract Monday, said Jim Sheard, union secretary-treasurer.

Sheard said about 100 union employees were striking in Omaha, where the company is based.

Another 100 workers were striking at other Roberts plants in Grand Island, Neb.; Lincoln, Neb.; Norfolk, Neb.; West Point, Neb.; Sioux City, Iowa; and Salina, Kan.

Retail: Wal-Mart to cover women's magazines

Wal-Mart will begin obscuring the covers of women's magazines like Cosmopolitan and Glamour in its checkout lanes, just a month after pulling men's magazines from its shelves over their racy content.

The company is testing binders that will cover the magazines' photos and language, spokesman Tom Williams said at the company's annual shareholders meeting Friday.

The company expects the new binders to appear in stores by July.

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