BUSINESS NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2002
County may hike transfer tax
A proposal to boost the real estate transfer tax could cost property sellers in Hamilton County nearly $3 million next year.

Kroger profits slip 6.6 percent
Kroger Co. cut profit forecasts for next year after reporting Tuesday that earnings before one-time charges were lower than expected in the third quarter.

What's the buzz?
A ban on soft-money contributions to national political parties took effect after Election Day, but the Tristate's biggest political donor - Reds owner Carl Lindner - managed to write checks for $860,000 before the law hit the books.

Tipsheet improved
The Cincinnati Enquirer's free daily e-mail business briefing is even easier to receive. How do you get it? Click here to register.

AK Steel ends 3-year lockout
MANSFIELD - AK Steel said Tuesday it has ended its three-year lockout of union workers at its Mansfield Works plant, one of the country's longest labor disputes.
Broadwing finance deal sends shares up more than 45%
Shares of Broadwing Inc. soared more than 45 percent Tuesday after the parent of Cincinnati Bell announced a deal for $200 million in new financing.
Fed holds course on interest rate
WASHINGTON -The Federal Reserve left a key interest rate unchanged at a 41-year low Tuesday, giving consumers and businesses more time to take advantage of rock-bottom borrowing costs to help the economy snap out of its listless state.
Seeds for 207 area jobs planted from Ohio tax incentives
More than 200 new jobs are envisioned over three years under tax incentives approved for five Greater Cincinnati companies by the Ohio Tax Credit Authority.
Survey: CDs grow best at credit unions
With savers continuing to be haunted by low interest rates, credit unions offer some relief with higher yields than banks and thrifts pay, according to a new report.
Business digest

Morning Memo

SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT   (Index of Sunday stories)
Tristate banks look to expand
After expanding briskly in Butler and Warren counties during much of the 1990s, most of the Tristate's largest banks virtually halted efforts on opening brick-and-mortar branches in recent years.


Ex-P&G boss runs spiritual startup
Three years after relinquishing one of the top posts at Procter & Gamble Co. for a foray into a theological seminary, Denis Beausejour still carries around a list of his former colleagues.

What's the Buzz?
Don't doubt for a minute that television stations - and the companies that own those stations - love politics. Political advertising pumps millions onto station balance sheets every fall, and 2002 was no exception.

THE GREATER CINCINNATI 100
Top private firms saw recession
Even before the recession hit in March 2001, Greater Cincinnati's largest private businesses saw the tough times coming.

Drees Co. grabs top ranking in the 100
The Drees Co. earned the top spot in this year's Greater Cincinnati 100, but company officials say that the home builder is even bigger now.

Vehicle dealers showed the way
The tech bubble burst, the U.S. economy slumped, and consumers ducked for cover from terrorists.
These 100 show best of can-do spirit
Health care costs bite deep
Accountable to themselves
Habegger posts 50th profit in 50th year
Builder moves up - for now
Floturn flourishes as others fall
Sumerel service adds to revenue
Companies: Outlook for economy is grim
Everclear emerges as true up-and-comer

SPECIAL COVERAGE
Erpenbeck archive
A. William Erpenbeck spent years building a company that appears to be crumbling. One of the Tristate's biggest home builders, the Erpenbeck Co., is under federal investigation for a suspected bank fraud that is affecting lenders, subcontractors and home owners. Click here for links to all Enquirer reports.