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Published Oct. 1, 2005

3 STOCKS DRAG DOW: Investors dumped shares of Eastman Kodak, Philip Morris and IBM on Friday, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average lower. For the week, the Dow lost 130.67 points.


PILOTS CONSIDER DEAL: The board of American Airlines' pilots union began a two-day meeting Friday to consider a tentative contract agreement reached this week with the carrier, according to Bloomberg News. The 18-member board was briefed Friday and will discuss the proposed contract today.

AHMANSON SUES: H. F. Ahmanson & Co. asked a Delaware court Friday to stop Washington Mutual Inc.'s proposed purchase of Great Western Financial Corp., a thrift that Ahmanson wants to buy, according to Bloomberg News. The country's biggest thrift is also trying to force Great Western's board to drop its opposition to Ahmanson's $6.79-billion takeover bid.

COLUMBIA STOCK FALLS: Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. shares fell 6.7 percent on concern that a federal investigation of its El Paso, Texas, operations could spread to other cities, according to Bloomberg News. Agents armed with search warrants raided Columbia/HCA's four El Paso hospitals Wednesday as well as more than 20 physicians' offices, carting off boxes full of documents. Columbia/HCA shares fell $2.75 to $38.50.

Tampa Bay/State

JUDGE REQUIRES BOND IN MIDO CASE: The fate of the Belleview Mido Resort Hotel remains in limbo. Federal Magistrate Judge Thomas McCoun ruled Friday that the Connecticut businessman who wants to buy the historic hotel in Belleair has 15 days to post a $2.4-million bond if he wants to pursue his claim to the hotel. Jon Kerr says the Mido owners backed out of a deal to sell the hotel to him for $19-million. The Mido owners say that Kerr failed to meet the terms of the agreement and that they now want to sell the hotel to an Atlanta company for $16-million. The Japanese owners of the hotel have been in default on the mortgage for three years and owe $1.3-million in back property taxes.

JOBLESS BILL APPROVED: The state House gave preliminary approval to a plan that would cut $161.9-million in taxes that businesses pay to support unemployed workers. A final vote is expected Tuesday. The one-year tax break, which is possible thanks to a huge surplus in the state's unemployment compensation trust fund, would be accompanied by a $29.9-million boost in benefits to people who are out of work. A similar plan is pending in the Senate, although that proposal would give about $6.8-million less to the unemployed.

BANK EXPANDING: Palm Harbor-based Peoples Bank, one of the newest banks in the area, said it will open a second office in June on Ridge Road in Port Richey. To support future growth, the bank said it recently concluded a second stock offering, raising $1.3-million from 107,500 shares at $12.50 per share.

AIRLINES MERGE: Pan American World Airways and Carnival Air said Friday they would merge in a deal that gives Carnival's billionaire owner Micky Arison a 42 percent stake in Pan Am. Arison is kicking in $30-million for the controlling stake and will put Pan Am's famous blue-globe logo on Carnival Air's larger fleet.



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