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Daily Memo

Entrepreneurs? class now available on a CD-ROM

Potential entrepreneurs can learn the basics of starting a business from home, thanks to a new program from Rogue Community College's Small Business Development Center.

The center now offers a distance learning class called How to Start Up Your Own Business that comes with a CD-ROM and start-up manual.

Students go through the program on their home computers. The center's staff reviews course work, answers questions and helps students through e-mail and over the phone.

The business course covers selecting the idea, testing the market, acquiring capital, writing a business plan, legal requirements and project cash flow. The cost is $59. For information, call the center at 956-7494.REGION

N. California heat wave may have harmed grapes

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — The recent heat wave that scalded Northern California last week may have also damaged this year's grape crop — bad news for the region's wine industry.

Napa and Sonoma County suffered some of the highest temperatures last week, exceeding 100 degrees in some cities. Cloverdale reached 116 degrees on Wednesday.

In the days preceding the heat spell, vintners had expected an above-average crop to offset poorer harvests in 1998 and 1999.

Although some crops came out of the heat with little or no damage, one major Sonoma County vineyard may have lost up to 15 percent of his grapes, said Nick Frey, the executive director of the Sonoma County Grape Growers Association.

Oregon City company admits waste violations

OREGON CITY — The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is considering reducing a pollution fine against Smurfit Newsprint from a half-million dollars to less than $100,000 under a policy that rewards companies for voluntarily reporting environmental violations.

Smurfit told authorities that the environmental manager for a mill it formerly owned in Oregon City falsified compliance reports about pollution levels in waste water that emptied into the Willamette River.

Federal prosecutors, who have jurisdiction in Clean Water Act cases, have declined to bring criminal charges against Smurfit, which recently sold the mill. But the company's former environmental services superintendent, Gary E. Field, could face prosecution, said J. Mark Morford, a Smurfit attorney.

The Clinton administration has backed environmental self-disclosure policies as a way of encouraging greater compliance with environmental laws.

FCC opens way for Pfizer, Warner-Lambert merger

WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission cleared the way Monday for a $90 billion merger between drug manufacturing giants Pfizer Inc. and Warner-Lambert Co. that is expected to make the new Pfizer the largest pharmaceutical company in the world.

The merger leaves the combined company dominating many U.S. medicine cabinets. Together, they hold many of the world's best-known brands, including Halls, Benadryl, Sudafed, Listerine, Schick, Visine, Ben Gay, Lubriderm, Zantac and Cortizone.

Pfizer, which makes the male impotence drug Viagra, and Warner-Lambert, which manufactures the cholesterol drug Lipitor, first announced they intended to merge Feb. 6.

From local and wire reports