Daily Press from Newport News, Virginia on January 23, 1998 · Page 29
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Daily Press from Newport News, Virginia · Page 29

Newport News, Virginia
Issue Date:
Friday, January 23, 1998
Page 29
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U foil aft Dow: Down 63.52 8250 i O Dailu 3res$ C7 I k 1 1 l .ill KKB HI I I - 7050 10197 11197 12197 1198 CONCERN ABOUT 1998. Fourth-quarter profit reports remained generally strong Thursday. But stocks pulled back again, as big names such as Microsoft, Texaco and Sears joined the list of companies expressing concern about 1998. Broad stock indicators fell for the second straight session. S&P500: 963.04 -7.77 Nikkei Average: 16,405.69 -278.73 Financial Times 1 00: 5,253.1 1 9.2 Gold: (N.Y.Merc) $290.80 -$2.00 Silver: (N.Y. Merc) $5.689 -$0.084 Crude oil: (March) $16.04 $0.32 U.S. dollar: (N.Y.) 127.23 0.08 30-yr.T-bond yield: 5.87 0.06 1 -LINE Wall Street report: 928-1 1 1 1 2301 DRIVING AN EXTRA BUS. Michael Townes, executive director of Pentran, also will head up Tidewater Regional Transit under a one-year contract approved Thursday by Pentran's board. The two bus systems are moving toward a planned merger, and TRT's interim executive director is about to leave his job. TRT proposed the $60,000 "management services" contract with Pentran that will begin March 1. PORT CARGO UP. Virginia International Terminals moved 730,000 tons of container cargo and 56,000 tons of breakbulk in December. Combined, that's 12 percent more than in December 1996. VIT, which operates Hampton Roads' state-owned ports, handled 4.6 million tons during the six-month period ended Dec. 31, almost 10 percent more than in the same period the year before. BANKS SQUARE OFF. A Richmond jury is hearing arguments in the Bank of Montreal's lawsuit against Signet. BOM says Signet committed fraud by withholding information that might have exposed a phony research project. BOM, like five other lenders, bought a piece of the Signet-led deal and trouble with it. BOM wants to recover $24 million in lost principal and $32 million more in interest. Signet maintains all the banks were victims. ON TRACK WITH MERGER. Traffic tie-ups and other problems stemming from Western railroad mergers aren't likely to be repeated in the East when CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX) and Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC) divide Conrail, according to CSX Chairman John Snow. Speaking to financial analysts in Richmond, Snow said CSX is spending $500 million on capital improvements and transition costs months before federal regulators are likely to approve the merger this summer. . EARNINGS... James River Bankshares' (Nasdaq: JRBK) fourth-quarter profits rose 36 percent to $1,053 million, or 28 cents a share, thanks to strong loan growth. Chesapeake Corp.'s (NYSE: CSK) fourth-quarter net income rose 21 percent to $7.6 million, or 34 cents a share. Sales, led by its tissue business, jumped 15 percent to $228.5 million. Top sellers in Mexico 'jTop-selling passenger cars, by ; f manufacturer, 1996: , ," Produced in Mexico Imported Volkswagen j , General g Motors La 1 Ford cm 16,042 Chrysler rZl19.649 1 427 , 1 1,489 ' 1 2,977 llamptonroads Get stock quotes and market reports online. On America Online: Keyword "Hampton Roads" On the World Wide Web: http:hamptonroads.digitalcity.com 928-1111 Financial Business headlines The industries report From Isle of Wight, Smithfield: 357-6594 category 2111 category 2000 category 2901 E I Mi lectric rate Legislators to consider deregulation proposals could change By Tom Fredrlckson Daily Press Deregulation of the wholesale electricity market, as outlined in a bill to be introduced in the General Assembly today or Monday, could lower consumers' costs, a Virginia Power spokesman said. However, the author of a com peting plan, Sen. Jackson E. Rea-sor Jr., D-Bland, said the proposed legislation could winding up costing customers more. A draft of the legislation obtained by the Daily Press stops short of creating the full retail competition pushed by some large industrial customers. But it goes further than some consumer groups have advocated by fixing a date for competition among power generators. Rep. Kenneth Plum, D-Fairfax, is the patron of the bill and expects to have cosigners. "The common understanding is that a competitive markeplace will make prices go down," said the utility spokesman, James Norvelle. "That savings will get passed on to the customer." Reasor, chairman of the legislative subcommittee studying deregulation, says customers could pay more than they should Questions about Virginia Power affect its parent's stock. C9. if current rates stay in effect. "That doesn't mean that your electric bill will go up, but everybody agrees that Virginia Power customers are overpaying," he said. "Even Virginia Power admits that." Starting Jan. 1, 2004, wholesale competition would commence. Consumers would con- Mm TSlI NEWMARKET CINEMAS 4 MONEY TALKS - I DEVILS ADVOCATE 1 JACKAL J X3NIWMARKET CINIMAS UulMil-1 -J I fflfti ! . Mr Mini Left: The Newmarket Cinemas in Newmarket Shopping Center will close next week, after more than 32 years in business. Dave Bowman Daily Press ; Below: An Oct. 14, 1965, ad heralds the opening of the Newmarket Theatre, "Virginia's First Rocking Chair Theatre." Theaters at end of 32-year run Newmarket Cinemas can't draw a crowd By Joanne Kimberlin Daily Press NEWPORT NEWS Newmarket Cinemas will play its last picture show Jan. 29, ending a run of more than 32 years. The four-screen theater complex in the back part of Newmarket Shopping Center off Mercury Boulevard has featured second-run movies for $1 since the middle of last summer-But even being the cheapest show in town couldn't keep 'em coming not in this era of multiplexes and home video. Phil Zacheretti of Regal Cin- The cinemas at Newmarket Shopping Center, then and now. Fun facts about Newmarket Cinemas. Stories, C9. tl;, 'Mil !;""' ; t- -: ill! M ,L" v v " .., - - ' hXJJLit ' ,"SXl O EVENTS - . I jyt&. .gtz-a 1 -i-h Yrz 1 i-WMi fll '.,3-. ' emas, which operates the theaters, said Newmarket got squeezed on several fronts. First came a shift in the Peninsula's shopping and driving patterns. The Newmarket area, once a major retail district, fell out of favor when new shopping centers and Patrick Henry Mall sprouted in the '80s farther up Jefferson Avenue. 1-664, which allowed east-west commuters to avoid Mercury altogether, made things even worse. Next came the eight-, 12- and 14-screen theaters. "Newmarket is just too close to the competition," Zacheretti said. AMC runs a four-screen just across the street in Newmarket Please see CinemasC9 tinue to buy power from their local power company, but the price they'd pay would fluctuate because the price of electrical generation would no longer be fixed by the State Corporation Commission. The electricity could be produced by one of a number of companies. The low bidder in a regional power exchange would supply the juice at a given time. An independent system operator would make sure that supply Please see PowerC9 Cellar Door in court Firm tries to block ex-worker's venture By Sam McDonald DailyPress . ' . Cellar Door Productions of Virginia Inc. and A. William Reid will clash in court today, as part of a deepening legal battle between the concert promotion company and its former president. Lawyers for Cellar Door this week filed a complaint asking Virginia Beach Circuit Court to block Reid from running a rival concert promotions business in the area. Circuit Judge Thomas Padrick is scheduled to consider the complaint at 3 p.m. today. In court papers filed this week, the company states that Reid's employment contract included a noncompetition clause. The clause, the company contends, serves as Reid's promise not to go head-to-head against Cellar Door in case of his dismissal. On Jan. 7, Reid filed papers with the Virginia State Corporation Commission creating a new business called Rising Tide Productions Inc. He intends to produce concerts, although none have been announced. Cellar Door owner John J. Boyle fired Reid Dec. 30, following what Reid describes as a quarrel over proceeds from the Virginia Beach Amphitheater. Reid had worked 14 years as Cellar Door's top local officer. This week, the company made Please see SuiVC9 Changing in the click of a mouse Microsoft dropping icons to avoid contempt charges The Associated Press WASHINGTON Seeking to avoid contempt of court charges, Microsoft Corp. agreed Thursday to let computer makers temporarily offer its latest version of Windows 95 without easy access to its Internet Explorer software. By entering into the settlement with the Justice Department, Microsoft avoided the possibility of being hit with a $1 million-a-day fine by the court. The settlement represented only a temporary victory for the Justice Department, as the broader dispute in its antitrust case remains pending in court. The government lawsuit, filed in October, seeks to prevent Microsoft from requiring com puter makers to preinstall Internet Explorer as a condition of licensing Windows 95, the software that handles basic operations on personal computers and enjoys more than an 80 percent share of the market. The government contends Microsoft is using its near monopoly in Windows to muscle into the Internet browser market, thereby damaging rival Please see MicrosoftC9 Netscape giving away browser The Associated Press SAN JOSE, Calif. Netscape Communications Corp., fighting to regain ground in the browser war against Microsoft, took a weapon Thursday from its rival's arsenal: Its Navigator software is now free. Netscape said it will let computer makers and Internet service providers distribute Navi gator without restriction. It also is encouraging computer users to download the software from the Internet without charge. r The no-charge policies also apply to Communicator, a suite of business programs that includes the browser. In addition, Netscape will put key Navigator codes on the Please see NetscapeC9 Latest studies stump Pentagon on gender-blender training issue 1 To add a stock Vmutual fund listing: 247-4734 In June, in the aftermath of sex crimes and scandals involving drill instructors and trainees at the Army's Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md., military leaders told Congress that individuals were to blame, not gender-integrated training. "Any proposal that calls for gender segregation of trainees and cadres violates the very foundation of the Army an integrated, effective and lethal force ready to perform the mission anywhere at any time," said Army Secretary Togo West. "Turning the clock back to gender-segregated training will result in unrealistic training that degrades readiness," warned Gen. Dennis Reimer, Army chief of staff. "The most effective way to train Navy personnel is our gender-integrated methods," said Adm. Jay L. Johnson, chief of naval operations. "We are extremely sat Tom Philpott That same month, however, Defense Secretary William Cohen formed a special commission, led by former Senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker, to study the issue. In December, it reached a conclusion far different from what service leaders espoused. Every service except the Marine Corps, which continues to segregate sexes during boot camp, has gone too far in mixed-gender training, resulting in declines in discipline, unit cohesion and training effectiveness, the commission said. The 11 -member commission included prominent educators, a former assistant Little help, few facts available on federal pension plan switch Most agencies are stonewalling when workers ask for information about the upcoming pension plan switch, which is a very big deal. It will allow folks under the old Civil Service Retirement System (about half the total work force) to switch to the newer, and very different, Federal Employees Retirement System. For many feds and their families, the pension switch is a lot more important than Indonesia's economy. Or where U.N. Ambassador Madeleine K. Albright is going next. Or what House Speaker Newt Gingrich has to say about anything. The CSRS-to-FERS switch is a prime chance for more than a million people to improve their retirement years. Or mess up real bad. But to do the right thing, folks need help and information. So why have agencies clammed up? y Actually, they have good reason to be L Mike Causey cautious: The CSRS-to-FERS switch isn't official yet. Here's the deal: Late last year, Congress approved the CSRS-to-FERS switch, catching every-body off guard. The open season was set for July 1 through Dec. 31. But President Clinton had a surprise of his own. He used the line-item veto to kill the open season. Then the National Treasury Employees Union surprised him, by taking the issue to court. After studying the issue, Justice Department lawyers concluded this wasn't a good test case (meaning that the government would likely lose), so the adminis- Please see CauseyC8 isfied...." Please see Philpott C8

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