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Daily Memo

Nextel expands service to valley

Nextel Communications, a leading wireless company, has expanded its service area to include Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass and Roseburg, the company announced Thursday.

Nextel offers digital cellular, paging, two-way radio and wireless Internet services.

The company's service area previously ended at Eugene. It now covers 23 of Oregon's 25 largest cities, the company says.

Bill Anderberg of Answer Page, one of several area Nextel dealers, says the coverage now extends along the Interstate 5 corridor between the Canadian border and the California border.REGION

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts are coming to Oregon

PORTLAND — Come this time next year, some Oregonians may have a glazed look in their eyes.

By then, a Krispy Kreme Doughnut franchise will open in Portland, and eight others will follow statewide within six years, according to the franchisee, ICON Doughnut Development Co. LLC of Chicago.

For decades, the popularity of Krispy Kreme doughnuts was confined to the South, where most of the company's stores are located. Residents there long have gushed about the sweet, sticky treats, often served warm.

The North Carolina-based company, now 63 years old, decided to expose its product to a wider audience, opening a store in New York five years ago. With favorable results there, the company looked west.

Using virtually no advertising, the buzz spread. Customers in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas — the latest markets — have waited in lines as long as an hour to get a hold of the doughnuts.Nation

Manufacturing economy grows slowly in May

NEW YORK — A flurry of economic reports released Thursday pointed to a slowdown in the red-hot economy, with growth in construction and manufacturing slacking off this spring.

The National Association of Purchasing Managers, an industry group, said that that growth of the U.S. manufacturing economy slowed considerably in May.

Spending on construction projects, a sector sensitive to interest rates, fell 0.6 percent in April, the Commerce Department said. It was the biggest setback in almost a year.

U.S. auto industry posts 1st sales decline since ?98

DETROIT — The U.S. auto industry is facing its first monthly sales decline since August 1998, as interest rate hikes begin to steal some heat from a white-hot market for new cars.

With a few automakers yet to report, U.S. sales of cars and light trucks were down 2 to — percent, led by a 18 percent drop in May sales from a year earlier by DaimlerChrysler AG.

Automakers suggest tests for side air bags

ARLINGTON, Va. — Automakers proposed voluntary side air bag tests Thursday aimed at preventing the deaths and injuries that have occurred with some air bags mounted in the steering wheel and dashboard.

The federal government requires front air bags on all vehicles and has standards for testing them. But there are no government tests for side air bags, which are standard on some luxury vehicles and optional on many cheaper models.

From staff and wire reports