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Forum to be held on power deregulation

Two community meetings on efforts to deregulate Oregon's power system are planned for Wednesday.

The forums, sponsored by the Fair and Clean Energy Coalition, will center on a bill before the state Legislature that would restructure the power system. Positions on the bill taken by consumer, environmental and human services groups will be presented.

The first forum is a brown-bag lunch meeting from noon to — p.m. and the second is from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Both meetings are at ACCESS Inc., 3630 Aviation Way in Medford.

Le Dolls changes its name to Scandals

Downtown Medford's adult nightclub changed its name Wednesday from Le Dolls to Scandals, a move co-owner Kevin Wells says marks a subtler approach.

We're not out to offend anybody, Wells says of the Riverside Avenue nightclub, which features nude dancers.

Wells and partner Brian Edwards plan to trademark the name, something they couldn't do with Le Dolls because other businesses around the country had similar names.

The nightclub's exterior also got a makeover and some remodeling was done inside.

— — REGION — —

Wyoming PUC staff backs PacifiCorp merger

The proposed merger of PacifiCorp and ScottishPower has gotten its second vote of confidence from a state regulatory staff, the parent company of Pacific Power said Wednesday.

The consumer advocate staff of Wyoming's public utility commission recommended conditional approval of the merger, joining Idaho's regulatory staff in supporting the deal. Oregon's commission staff has recommended rejection of the merger.

The deal must be approved by utility commissions in all six states that Pacific Power serves if the combined company plans to continue service in all six. The company has debated selling services in Northern California.

The approval process is lengthy and no final decisions are expected until this fall.

Allen will indeed buy Falcon Cable

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen took another big step toward his goal of creating a technology and entertainment empire Wednesday with the $3.6 billion purchase of Falcon Communications, a closely held cable TV company.

The transaction, which includes cash, stock and assumed debt, would make Allen's Charter Communications the fourth-largest cable television operator in the nation with 5.5 million subscribers. It was widely reported Tuesday but formally announced Wednesday.