Thursday, July 10, 2003

Tristate summary



From staff and wire reports

New Chamber of Commerce VP

The Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce has named J. Douglas Moormann of Marysville, Ohio, vice president of government affairs. He succeeds Susan Laffoon.

Moormann, who has served as the executive assistant to Gov. Bob Taft for business and industry since 2001, will assume the chamber post July 21. Moormann was selected following a search by recruiting firm KMK.

"Doug is a tremendous fit for the position, as he possesses outstanding experience in the business-industry arena, as well as significant state-level experience," chamber president Michael Fisher said.

Fisher also noted that Moormann has strong ties to Northern Kentucky and Dayton.

S&P raises credit rating of Kroger

Kroger Co.'s credit rating was raised and Albertson's Inc.'s debt was cut by Standard & Poor's after a review of the two largest U.S. supermarket chains. Safeway Inc., the third-largest grocery chain, was left unchanged.

Cincinnati-based Kroger's debt rating was increased to BBB from BBB-, while Albertson's' was lowered to BBB from BBB+. Safeway's rating was affirmed at BBB, Standard & Poor's said in a statement.

Kroger's rating was upgraded because it has been more successful than its rivals at fending off "pricing challenges" by discount retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Standard & Poor's said. Cost-cutting efforts at Albertson's have been hampered by rising employee-benefit costs and weak sales, the ratings firm said.

University Pointe hospital planned

WEST CHESTER TWP. - UC Physicians plans to break ground on a 25,800-square-foot surgical hospital and cardiology center within 60 days at its University Pointe medical campus.

The physicians group still must clear Ohio regulatory hurdles, but hopes to have construction under way soon, said John Gillespie, director of marketing and development for UC Physicians.

The hospital will join a TGI Friday's restaurant and Fifth Third Bank as the newest additions to the 75-acre medical and retail campus on Cox Lane near Tylersville Road.

They join Mitchell's Salon & Day Spa, Huntington Bank, Dialysis Clinic Inc., University Pointe Precision Radiotherapy and the $11 million UC Physicians medical professional building at the site.



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