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News briefs

shop specializes in supplies for pets

ASHLAND -- R. David Feld has opened Claws & Paws Pet Shoppe Inc. at 3399 E. Main St.

The business specializes in pet supplies -- predominantly for dogs and cats -- not found elsewhere in the valley. The business takes special orders and delivers.

The telephone number is 552-1272.

orders GTE to provide refunds

SALEM -- The Oregon Public Utility Commission has ordered GTE to refund $2.4 million to its telephone customers and to reduce its revenue by $25 million.

We felt it was time for an adjustment, said PUC Chairman Ron Eachus.

Refunds of $3.84 per line for residential customers and $8.78 per line for business customers will appear as a credit on October bills. The refunds reflect GTE income from deferred 1995 and 1997 Oregon corporate tax refunds.

The 11 percent revenue reduction will reduce customer costs for extended area service, custom call features and toll calls.

grants benefit kids, schools

ROSEBURG -- The Cow Creek/Seven Feathers Foundation has announced a $300,000 package of grants that will benefit children and schools through nearly three dozen nonprofit groups in Southern Oregon.

The money represents 6 percent of net gaming revenues from the Seven Feathers Casino Resort, operated by the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians.

Myrtle Creek Elementary School, Roseburg's Phoenix School and the Umpqua Community Action Network received the largest individual grants. They were awarded $20,000 apiece.

The foundation solicits requests from nonprofit groups in Douglas, Josephine, Jackson, Coos, Lane, Deschutes and Klamath counties.

newspaper acquires Family Times

CORVALLIS -- The Corvallis Gazette-Times and Albany Democrat-Herald have acquired the bimonthly Family Times, which focuses on an extensive calendar of local events and features about local residents and family activities.

Bettina Katz, 39, who founded Family Times in May 1995, will continue to oversee operations. The current format of the publication will be retained. The Times has a circulation of 15,000.

workers strike Kaiser in three states

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Some 3,000 United Steelworkers members in three states went on strike Wednesday night after talks with Kaiser Aluminum Corp. failed to produce a new contract.

The old contract expired at 4 p.m. PDT, but the two sides extended the deadline as union leaders considered a new proposal during talks in Minneapolis.

But those leaders decided the proposal was unacceptable, and workers began leaving their posts at Kaiser plants at about 8:30 p.m., said Larry Strom, acting president of USW Local 329 in Spokane.

No new talks were scheduled.

In combined wages and benefits, Kaiser workers in the Northwest average $30 per hour, or $62,000 per year, said company spokeswoman Susan Ashe.

will aid nations with financial crises

TOKYO -- Japan will present plans to spend about $30 billion to support Southeast Asian countries when finance officials from the world's leading industrial nations meet this weekend.

The proposal, outlined Wednesday by Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, includes loan guarantees, interest-rate subsidies and purchases of government bonds from Asian countries.

Asia has been hit hard by a financial crisis that has plunged many of the region's countries into recession, put millions out of work, and fueled riots and political unrest.