Erpenbeck tape used in lawsuit
On the eve of the collapse of the Erpenbeck Co. and Peoples Bank of Northern Kentucky last year, former homebuilder Bill Erpenbeck was already cozying up to federal investigators with the secretly recorded comments of his longtime friend and banker at Peoples, John Finnan.

Frisch's profits increase 50%
Frisch's Restaurants Inc. said Monday that profits rose more than 50 percent in the fourth quarter, sending shares of the Cincinnati-based restaurant chain soaring to their biggest one-day gain since May 2002.

Morning memo
Hot tips & news to start your business day.

What's the Buzz?
Hamilton County thinks its contractors deserve a pat on the back.

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.

Tristate summary
Cincinnati Financial Corp. shares rose 3.4 percent Monday after the firm said it expects a 16 percent increase in second-quarter premium revenue.

Bargain store bans sisters
BOSTON - A note to serious shoppers: think twice about returning those pants that don't quite fit, or that scarf that doesn't match your purse after all.

Boise Cascade agrees to buy OfficeMax
CLEVELAND - Wall Street response was mixed to a proposed deal in which wood and paper products maker Boise Cascade Corp. would buy OfficeMax Inc. for nearly $1.2 billion in cash and stock.

Overtime: Rules' effects are unclear to experts
NEW YORK - Say you're a cook, or a nurse, or the assistant manager of a store. You've worked more than 40 hours this week, so you're entitled to overtime pay, right?

Another battle over workers' comp
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Business groups are pushing changes to the state workers' compensation system they say are needed to cut employers' costs.

Business Digest
PeopleSoft Inc. was cleared by federal authorities to buy business-software rival J.D. Edwards & Co. for $1.75 billion. Oracle Corp. countered by vowing to pursue its $6.3 billion hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft.

SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT     (Index of Sunday stories)
Casinos are where action is
The flagging hotel market has a Fort Mitchell-based hotel operator looking to double the number of its casinos by the end of the year.

Teach employees how to put on an act
If companies want to retain employees - or for that matter retain clients or customers - they need to have workers who care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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

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.