BUSINESSMAN HONORED BY UNITED WAY OF MIDLANDS
Bill Rogers has been named the United Way of the Midlands Humanitarian of the Year. Rogers is chairman of Bonitz Inc. and chairman emeritus of Consolidated Systems, a pair of Columbia construction-related companies he helped found. He has helped the Carolina Children's Home, Claflin University, S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice and Habitat for Humanity, the United Way said. A black-tie event will be held in his honor Feb. 25.
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CHANGES COMING AT PORTS AUTHORITY
CHARLESTON - State Ports Authority chief executive Jim Newsome announced at a board meeting Tuesday that the maritime agency would face restructuring and cut non-capital expenditures by $7 million, or 10 percent of those costs. Newsome said several executive staff members would assume new responsibilities, but he did not discuss any staff reductions.
BI-LO FILES ITS PLAN FOR REORGANIZATION
GREENVILLE - The bulk of Bi-Lo's store base and its operations would remain intact under a reorganization plan the company filed in bankruptcy court. That would be good news for Mauldin-based Bi-Lo's 15,000 employees, but several hurdles - including a creditors' vote and approval by a bankruptcy judge - remain before the plan takes effect. For shoppers, a reorganized Bi-Lo would operate more than 200 supermarkets in the Southeast as the company did before it filed under Chapter 11 last year, the court filing said. Under the company's amended plan, filed after Bi-Lo's creditors withdrew a competing proposal, Lone Star would retain ownership of the grocery chain by paying term-loan lenders $260 million and giving unsecured creditors $30 million to $35 million to divide. The reorganization plan would be funded by a combination of $150 million of new equity from a Lone Star affiliate and a new $200 million term loan, Bi-Lo said.
FEDS WANT TO KNOW HOW FAST TOYOTA BEGAN RECALLS
WASHINGTON - Federal safety regulators are asking Toyota to show how quickly it initiated three recalls after learning of the underlying safety risk, with the leverage of a $16.4 million fine if they determine Toyota was too slow. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is demanding Toyota documents that will show when and how it discovered the defects that led to three recalls of about 6 million vehicles in the U.S. Federal law requires all auto manufacturers to notify NHTSA within five days of determining that a safety defect exists and promptly conduct a recall. Toyota also said Tuesday it was halting production temporarily in San Antonio, Texas, and Georgetown, Ky., to address concerns that too many unsold vehicles may be building up at dealerships because of the large recalls.
BURGER KING WILL LAUNCH A NEW COFFEE LINE
CHICAGO - Burger King plans to launch a massive new coffee line as it tries to overhaul its breakfast menu and boost its slumping business. The nation's No. 2 burger chain will add Starbucks Corp.'s Seattle's Best Coffee to all its restaurants in a phased roll-out that begins this summer. The move takes a page from rival McDonald's success with its McCafe line of coffee drinks. More than 7,000 Burger King restaurants will begin to sell the coffee along with iced varieties that also come with a choice of plain, vanilla or mocha flavors and whipped toppings. While prices will be set by franchise owners, the brew's suggested prices range from $1 to $2.79. Drinks will be sold all day.