Spenard Builders remodels Soldotna store
Spenard Builders Supply has remodeled its Soldotna store with new fixtures, improved lighting, larger sales counters and a better entrance. There are new displays of cabinets, appliances, doors and windows. The paint, electrical and plumbing departments have expanded, and the hardware section has more shelving and framing hardware. Manager Rick Abbott said the store's exterior will be refinished this spring with new stone wainscoting and cedar siding.
CIRI reports $102 million in earnings
Cook Inlet Region Inc. reported 2000 net income of $102.4 million, up 78 percent from the previous year.
Its gross revenues were $379 million, up from $297 million in 1999. Its total assets were more than $1.2 billion at year's end, up from $989 million at the end of 1999.
"While we've been successful with a diversified portfolio of investments, we've had extraordinary success with our telecommunications partnerships and were able to capitalize on a portion of them," said Carl Marrs, president and chief executive.
Last year, CIRI divested its interests in BellSouth Carolinas PCS, a telecommunications partnership in North and South Carolina. It also exchanged some of its joint venture interests with VoiceStream Wireless Corp. for stock, becoming a significant VoiceStream shareholder.
CIRI's construction and real estate businesses also contributed to 2000 profits.
In December, CIRI paid its shareholders the largest distribution ever paid by a Native regional corporation.
CIRI has formed two new joint ventures with VoiceStream to acquire personal communications services licenses. Those have acquired licenses in Philadelphia, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Omaha, Seattle, San Diego, Baltimore, Indianapolis and in several smaller markets.
CIRI also expects future success from its tourism business.
Former Circle DE president convicted
A federal jury recently convicted Daniel G. Brown, former president of Circle DE Pacific Inc., of 28 felony counts of wire fraud. Homer-based Circle DE, now defunct, formerly made and sold wood chips from beetle-infested spruce trees logged from the Kenai Peninsula.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Anchorage, Brown was convicted of defrauding Mitsui USA, a Japanese trading company, by directing an employee to overstate the weights of wood chips shipped to Japan. Mitsui was overcharged more than $500,000. The fraud was discovered by an employee who determined that truck drivers, also paid based on the weight of wood chips hauled, were being paid less than they should have been.
The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Hearing planned on construction standards
The Alaska Housing Finance Corp. holds a public hearing Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. to review the minimum construction standards for preassembled wall panels, changes to mortgage programs and the definition of a small community.
The hearing will be held at the AHFC Board Room, Suite 160, 4300 Boniface Parkway in Anchorage and available by teleconference at 1441 22nd Ave., Q Building in Fairbanks, and at 3410 Foster Ave. in Juneau. To participate by teleconference from other cities, call Sandra Palmer at (800) 478-2432 before Friday. Submit written comments to Sandra Palmer, AHFC, P.O. Box 101020, Anchorage, AK 99510-1020.
Tesoro profits rising
Tesoro Petroleum Corp. expects first-quarter earnings of 35 to 50 cents per diluted share, up from 20 cents per share in the first quarter last year.
Tesoro said refining margins and total refinery throughput were up in the first two months of 2001 from the same period last year. Tesoro made more of its fuels from heavy crude, which is favorably priced, and benefited from strong prices for gasoline and diesel. It expects total refinery throughput for the first quarter to average close to 250,000 barrels per day.
Its total capacity from refineries in Alaska, Washington and Hawaii is 275,000 barrels per day.
Company lures Hawaiian visitors
Salmon and halibut fishing on the Kenai Peninsula, wildlife viewing at Denali National Park and cruising Prince William Sound glaciers are among the attractions Hawaiian Vacations plans to use to lure Hawaiians to Alaska.
John Hardwick, president of Hawaiian Vacations, said a new subsidiary called Alaskan Vacations will market five Alaska vacation packages to Hawaiians. Beginning Sept. 1, Hawaiian Vacations also will replace its midnight flights from Honolulu to Anchorage with more convenient departures, leaving Honolulu at 3:40 p.m. and arriving in Anchorage at 11:25 p.m.
Jobless rate falls
February unemployment in the Kenai Peninsula Borough was 13 percent, down from 13.1 percent in January and from 15.8 percent in February last year, the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development said. There were 18,483 wage-and-salary jobs, up from 17,840 in January and from 18,206 in February last year.
The statewide rate was 7.5 percent in February, down from 7.8 percent in January and from 8.9 percent in February last year. Winter fisheries put processing works back to work in Kodiak and the Aleutians. Northern Alaska, where North Slope oil field activity slowed, was the only region where unemployment rose from January to February.
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