Thursday, March 21, 2002

Tristate Summary

Energy facility woes plague stock

        Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corp.'s damaged nuclear-power plant in Oak Harbor, Ohio, which has been shut down for a month, has a second hole in a reactor cap intended to contain radioactive coolant, a federal official said.

        Inspectors haven't determined whether the hole is as serious as the corrosion they found earlier,said Jack Strosnider, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission engineer. A breach in the cap would have allowed coolant to be released at high pressure, he said.

        “This is very serious,” though the plant's design should prevent radioactivity from escaping, Mr. Strosnider said at a meeting in Rockville, Md., to explain the shutdown.

        Shares of FirstEnergy have fallen 18 percent since officials revealed the corrosion March 12. The Davis-Besse plant was shut Feb. 16, and investors are concerned a prolonged delay will reduce earnings this year.

Tire shipments lag competitors

       Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. said shipments of tires to retailers in North America lagged rivals for the first two months of the year as dealers sold fewer than expected.

        Company shipments for January and February were unchanged from the same period a year earlier, below the 8 percent increase of all shipments in North America.

Progressive Corp. stock to split

        Mayfield Heights, Ohio-based Progressive Corp. will split its stock three-for-two in April.

        The insurance company said Tuesday that any holder of one of its outstanding common shares will get two more shares, to be issued April 22.

— From wire reports


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