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Daily Memo

Northridge Center near Phoenix to add new wing

The Northridge Center, an assisted living home on South Pacific Highway near Phoenix, is adding a new wing that will open in a few weeks.

The facility, at 3737 S. Pacific Highway, is adding a 21-apartment wing to its existing 34-apartment building. Construction is in the final stages and the new wing should open in mid-July.

It is owned by Les and Jackie Connell of Medford and Randy Arnett of Redmond.

SOWAC honors 4 people with its ?Heritage Award?

Southern Oregon Women's Access to Credit honored four area business people with its Entrepreneurial Heritage Award at its annual celebration of small business earlier this month.

The award winners were: Margo Fluhrer of Medford, who operated a family-owned bakery and was one of the first women to serve on Rogue Valley Medical Center's board; Karen Davison, who owns and operates Message Connection — a paging, cellular and voice mail company — with her husband, Richard; Gregorio Rodriguez, who is co-owner of the Medford restaurant Si Casa Flores; and Lynda Taylor and Jill Crawford, who operate Sisterfield's Gourmet and Natural Foods.

SOWAC is a nonprofit group that offers business assistance, particularly to businesses owned by minorities and women.

Chamber seeks nominees to receive annual awards

The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County is taking nominations of its annual awards, to be presented Sept. 12.

Awards include the first citizen of the year, retailer of the year, chamber member of the year, new chamber member of the year and company growth honor roll for large, medium and small businesses.

The nomination deadline is Friday. For information, call Monica Patridge at 779-4847, Ext. 320.NATION

Inspection lapses boost pipeline risks, says GAO

WASHINGTON — Accidents are increasing on the 2.2 million miles of pipelines carrying natural gas and other hazardous materials nationwide, as the federal government slacked off on enforcing many safety regulations, investigators say.

An average of 22 people died annually from 1988 to 1998 when the number of accidents was increasing 4 percent per year, according to the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress.

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., who requested the GAO investigation, said the report paints a picture of an agency that places disturbing amounts of faith in the industry it is supposed to regulate.

China's imports rise 35.4 percent from Jan.-May

SHANGHAI, China — China's imports rose 35.4 percent in the first five months of the year to $81.8 billion, the government said Saturday.

The surge reflects China's efforts to break out of an economic slump by encouraging domestic demand in its export-oriented economy.

The biggest import increases were for fuel, raw materials, electrical appliances and electronics, the General Administration of Customs announced.

The agency said imports of finished industrial goods rose 27.4 percent to $64.9 billion, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

The Customs agency also said crude oil imports tripled in the same period to $5.16 billion.

From staff and wire reports