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OOPS. Associated Electric Cooperative Inc.'s recently announced plans for a 530-megawatt plant in Oklahoma is but one of a number of new generation-plant projects for the company. Among the other projects is a 250-megawatt natural gas generator at AECI's St. Francis location, a joint venture with Duke Energy Corp. In the December Panorama, a magazine for Associated employees, it was reported that "in July the generator was being moved to its foundation when it was dropped and damaged." The project remains on schedule, the article went on to say, after a replacement generator was placed this fall. The generator is due to be ready for commercial operation in May 1999.

MANSFIELD LOAN. Ozark Mountain Wholesale and Auction Company Inc. and the city of Mansfield will receive a $90,000 loan from the state of Missouri to finance an expansion of the company's business. A release from the Missouri Department of Economic Development said the Action Fund loan will aid in the purchase of a vacant building and construction of a new 16,200-square-foot warehouse. Ozark Mountain Wholesale purchases ready-to-assemble, damaged or discontinued furniture and factory over-runs, and then assembles or repairs the furniture for resale to area furniture stores. The Action Fund loan program is available to for-profit companies when application is made in cooperation with a city or county sponsor. Cities with fewer than 50,000 people or counties with fewer than 200,000 residents are eligible for the program.

PACK RAT. A survey conducted by Steelcase Inc. found that 33 percent of office workers call themselves neat freaks. The survey asked folks to describe themselves using common labels: 27 percent replied they are pilers, 23 percent said filers, and 12 percent admitted to being pack rats. Only 2 percent would own up to the label of slob in the survey. Among women respondents alone, 40 percent claimed to be neat freaks. The survey found the average American office worker spends 20 minutes a day organizing his work area. And, according to that survey, the organizing isn't always shuffling papers. Among the items stored in work areas are coats (reported by 31 percent of respondents), food and beverages, non-work-related books and magazines, beauty aids and shoes. Sports gear is being stored by 8 percent of the survey's respondents. That could include, presumably, such necessary office gear as the baseball bat, wielded a la Al Capone on uncooperative co-workers.

ETHICAL. The Society of Financial Service Professionals (nee American Society of CLU & ChFC) is seeking entries for its sixth annual American Business Ethics Award. The award honors companies that exemplify high standards of ethical behavior in everyday business conduct and in response to specific crises or challenges. The deadline for entries is March 15, 1999. There are three categories for the award: public companies, private companies and small businesses with 100 employees or fewer. Applications are available by calling 888-243-2258, visiting its Web site at

www.financialpro.org

or writing to 270 S. Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr, Penn. 19010-2195. An independent panel of experts will judge entries for presentation at the society's national conference in October.

GIMME SHELTER. After "some unpleasant confrontations occurred" between scoff-law smokers and security personnel at smoke-free Ann Arbor, Mich.'s St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, the facility changed its policy on smoking. Instead of being totally smoke-free, the hospital decided to offer designated smoking areas enclosed shelters with heaters and exhaust systems manufactured by Duo-Gard Industries Inc. starting in 1996. This year, the shelters were adopted by two more hospitals in the St. Joseph Mercy system. Duo-Gard projects a 35 percent increase in sales of smoking shelters for fiscal 1998.

SLICE OF NICE. The American Lung Association has two programs for the end of the year. One is a vehicle donation program, where donors of any car, truck, van, motorcycle or boat to the American Lung Association of Western Missouri may deduct up to full market value of the vehicle from their taxes. Vehicles may be in any condition, even undriveable, and a free tow may also be arranged. To donate a vehicle, call 800-410-LUNG (5846). The American Lung Association also now has available its 1999 Golf Privilege Card. The cards, which cost $40, earn golfers reduced greens fees at participating courses and ranges. The cards also raise funds for lung research, programs and education. For more information on the cards, which can be processed and mailed in 48 hours, please call 800-638-8670 or 816-842-5242.

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