SENATE CONSIDERS VOLUNTARY COOL LEGISLATION
their colleagues in the House, 14 U.S. senators last week introduced a bipartisan bill that creates a voluntary country-of-origin labeling program for meat. The legislation is a companion to a measure introduced in the House of Representatives by more than 40 House members. In general, both bills seek to replace the mandatory program due to take effect next year. Efforts to repeal the mandatory labeling law have not worked, though the industry has been successful in seeking delays. The Department of Agriculture estimates the mandatory program will cost meatpackers and processors more than $2.4 billion to implement in-the first year alone.
BANKRUPT BUEHLER SEEKS TO EMERGE BY YEAR-END
JASPER, Ind. -- Buehler Foods here, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month, is on track to have a plan of reorganization filed by October and is hoping to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of the year, according to an attorney for the 55-store chain. Paul Deignan of Sommer Barnard, Indianapolis, said the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana is set to hold a final hearing on debtor-in-possession financing for Buehler Foods this Wednesday.
SUPREME COURT DECLINES TO REVIEW DEMOULAS CASE
TEWKSBURY, Mass. -- The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court's decision to transfer ownership of the Demoulas/Market Basket chain here from descendants of one co-founder to descendants of his co-founding brother, reports said. Frances D. Kettenbach, daughter of co-founder Mike Demoulas, whose heirs lost control of the chain when a judge ruled Mike Demoulas had defrauded his brother George, petitioned the court in April to review the case on the basis that its judge was biased. Several attempts to overturn the decision have failed since the initial ruling 15 years ago.
WAL-MART BOARD MEMBER JOHN WALTON DIES
BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Private services were held last week for John Walton, a son of Wal-Mart Stores founder Sam Walton and a member of the retailer's board of directors here. Walton, who was 58, died when the plane he was flying crashed shortly after take-off from Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming. Walton was active in philanthropic work through the Walton Family Foundation and served as a medic in the U.S. Army Green Berets in Vietnam. Walton engaged in a variety of business pursuits, most recently the holding company True North, and served on Wal-Mart's board since 1992.
VILLAGE SUPER MARKETS INCREASES DIVIDEND PAYMENT
SPRINGFIELD, N.J. -- The board of directors of Village Super Markets here said last week that the company's semi-annual dividend would increase by 28%. The dividend will be 32 cents per Class A share and 20.8 cents per Class B share. The dividends would be payable on Aug. 19 to shareholders of record at the close of business July 22. Village operates a chain of 23 supermarkets under the ShopRite name in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and is a member of the Wakefern cooperative.
FOOD TAX REDUCTION TAKES EFFECT IN VIRGINIA
RICHMOND, Va. -- A 1.5% sales tax cut on food in the state of Virginia took effect here last week. The tax cut, from 4% to 2.5%, was originally scheduled to be installed in half-cent increments but lawmakers agreed to accelerate the reduction due to better-than-expected revenues from a strong state economy, according to statements from Gov. Mark Warner. The food tax reduction will save a family of four with a household income of $60,000 around $83 a year, Warner said.