In Brief

Nevada Real Estate Division suspends broker’s license

The Nevada Real Estate Division said Friday that the real estate license of Pahrump-based broker Rose E. Elliott of Desert World Realty was suspended Aug. 26.

In a statement, the division said an investigation found that Elliott failed to account for or remit rent money collected for her clients’ rental properties.

The firm’s property management client trust accounts were maintained with a negative balance from February 2009 to August 2009, the division also said. 

Elliott is barred from real estate activities, including property management, the division said.

The division added that it will proceed with a complaint before the Nevada Real Estate Commission at its September meeting in Las Vegas. 

Utah credit union finishes conversion of five branches

America First Credit Union of Riverdale, Utah, reported Friday that it completed the conversion of five branches it acquired from failed Community One Federal Credit Union a year ago.

The National Credit Union Administration turned over operations of Community One to America First. Community One lost most of its net worth because of bad loans associated with the recession. Its members lost no money, because the federal government insured deposits.

As a result of the conversion, former Community One members now are members of America First, and Community One has ceased to exist.

New signs have been installed at the main Las Vegas location, 2699 N. Tenaya Way.

America First will complete replacement of the Community One signs at other branches by Sept. 10, said spokeswoman Nicole Cypers.

America First has 100 branches and is the nation’s 11th-largest credit union with $5.1 billion in assets. It has 534,000 members


Cost cuts, drink sales lift profits for Campbell Soup

Summer is rarely a hot sales season for Campbell Soup Co., and this year’s sweltering June and July made that even more true, but the company said Friday that cost-cutting and strong drink sales helped its net income climb.

The results topped most Wall Street expectations, but Campbell’s outlook spooked many investors, and its shares slid 3 percent Friday.

The Camden company reported that its fourth-quarter net income rose 63 percent from the same period last year to $113 million, or 33 cents per share. Excluding one-time items from 2009’s results, the increase was 7 percent.

The company posted better production numbers and benefited from lower taxes, yet sales fell slightly compared with the same period last year, from $1.53 billion to $1.52 billion for the quarter.

During the quarter, sales of both ready-to-serve and condensed soups slipped 7 percent.


Andean Resources bought
for $3.42 billion by Goldcorp

Goldcorp Inc. said Friday that it has agreed to buy Andean Resources Ltd. for about 3.6 billion Canadian dollars ($3.42 billion) in a deal that would give it access to an Argentinian mining project said to contain a significant amount of gold and silver.

The Canadian gold producer was competing for Andean against rival Eldorado Gold Corp., which submitted a bid in August that was rejected by Andean’s board.

Late Thursday, Eldorado said it had made a revised bid that offered Andean shareholders 0.31 shares of its stock for each Andean share, with the total bid valued at about $3.4 billion.

Eldorado said it has yet to hear back from Andean on its new offer.

The Goldcorp offer for Andean has been approved by the boards of both companies but still needs the approval of a majority of Andean’s stockholders. The companies hope to complete the deal this year or in early 2011.


Federal judge approves
Kodak offer to settle lawsuit

A federal judge on Friday approved Eastman Kodak Co.’s $21.4 million offer to settle class-action lawsuits by black employees who maintained white counterparts were favored over them for pay and promotion.

After an almost seven-year legal tussle, U.S. Magistrate Jonathan Feldman signed off on a deal that pays about 3,000 current and past Kodak workers amounts ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. The decision ends a 2004 class action lawsuit and a similar lawsuit filed by other black workers in 2007.

The Rochester, N.Y.-based photography products maker was accused of paying black employees less than white co-workers, passing them over for promotions and maintaining a racially hostile work environment.

Under the settlement, 3,008 workers get $9.65 million and their lawyers $9.7 million in fees and expenses.

Adjustments to individual awards were negotiated, with a dozen workers having $75,000 awards reduced by one-third. The balance of the settlement will go to administering the claims and supporting enhanced diversity training for supervisors that Kodak promised as part of the deal.

The company will also hire an industrial psychologist and two labor statisticians to review pay and promotion policies and recommend improvements.


General Motors will launch new Cruze at Ohio factory

General Motors said Friday that it will launch its Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan next week at the Ohio factory that makes the car.

GM’s North America president, Mark Reuss, and Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland are scheduled to unveil the Cruze Wednesday.

It goes on sale this month in U.S. showrooms.

The car is about the size of a Ford Focus or Honda Civic.


Can’t we be friends?
No, War says to PepsiCo

Members of the original funk band War say they can’t be friends with PepsiCo.

They’re suing the soft drink maker for more than $10 million, saying it did not negotiate with them to use their song “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” in a new commercial.

Even if PepsiCo and its agencies got rights from the music’s publishers or anyone else who owns them, attorney Ken Freundlich and his co-counsel Max Sprecher said, the company should have negotiated with the artists too.

In a lawsuit filed this week in Los Angeles, some of the group’s original members and a relative said they learned the 1975 hit was in the ad for Pepsi MAX only when the commercials launched in July.

PepsiCo said in a statement it believes the lawsuit has no merit.

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