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CALL FOR ENTRIES. Tompkins Press, a North Carolina publisher, is seeking "the most trite, generic, hokey, overused, cliched or unmotivating motivational slogan." The winning submission will get airplane tickets and a vacation package. A Tompkins release cited "Employees are our greatest asset," and "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" as examples of what the company is looking for. The contest is in conjunction with release of "Revolution: Take-Charge Strategies for Business Success," a book the publishers said debunks management by fad. You can send entries via e-mail at

slogans@tompkinsinc.com

or fax them to 919-872-9666 by March 1, 1999. Check out the company's Web site at

www.tomkinsinc.com/contest.html

for a full list of contest rules. And you might consider sending in the well-worn slogans of a former employer, unless you want to make your current employer fit that definition. Now, let's go out and win one for the Gipper.

LOT CONSTRUCTION. Construction of the Southwest Missouri State University parking lot on the former site of the former Colonial Hotel is under way, with MoDoCo Inc. as contractor. MoDoCo's Morris Dock said the project is not as simple as it may seem. "A job like this is very complicated." Among the complications is figuring out what you're digging into. Sewer and phone lines are among the items to look out for. In addition, Dock said, demolition of the Colonial involved filling in its basement and foundation with bricks and rubble. "Once the parking lot goes up, they don't want to ever put a building on that site without going down 15 feet" and putting in more substantial fill. Also on MoDoCo's docket is the start of construction for the Springfield Park Board's community center in the Chesterfield Village area. Dock said ground will be broken in the coming weeks.

AMERICAN WAY. The Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce named Lawrence F. Perney its new executive director. Perney was communications manager for the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce previously. "My goals as executive director will be to bring the business community together to build a stronger economy, develop programs and services that will directly benefit local business, promote the American enterprise system and making the Nixa area a better community for its people, our employees and ourselves," Perney said in a release.

MERRY DEBT. Information from CardWeb Inc. projects that American consumers will put about $97.3 billion in charges on credit cards between Thanksgiving and Christmas. During the 28 day period, more than 1.4 billion cards will be swiped through magnetic readers. CardWeb said its figures average out to $3.5 billion in purchases per day or $145 million each hour. In addition, about $13.2 billion in debit and check card charges will be made. The Pennsylvania-based CardWeb said peak shopping days of Nov. 27 and 28, and Dec. 24 will see credit cards used more than 6,000 times per second, generating about $450,000 of charges with each tick of the second hand.

MOST WANTED. The Kansas-Missouri District office of the Internal Revenue Service said more than 2,000 taxpayers in the two states have not yet received their 1997 federal income tax refund checks. The waylaid checks total more than $1 million. When the benevolent IRS mailed the checks in question, they were returned by the U.S. Postal Service as undeliverable. If you think you may be due a check, or are praying for some miracle method to pay off the credit-card debt mentioned above, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. And the IRS release said taxpayers who move can avoid the problem in the future by, what else, filing a form; specifically Form 8822, Change of Address.

BIG RED H. The big, red H atop Hamby's Steak House on Boonville has been neither lighted nor spinning in recent weeks. Knowledgeable waitresses report that the downtown beacon for bacon lovers will be back in action as soon as the lighting company service department shows up. Until then, just follow your nose.

SLICE OF NICE. NationsBank officials in Springfield presented $10,000 to the Salvation Army in support of the group's Tree of Lights Campaign. Forty NationsBank associates also rang bells for the Salvation Army's kettle drive on Dec. 5. The kettle drive will be ongoing throughout the holiday shopping season. The Salvation Army will provide assistance to more than 1,200 families in the Springfield area with food for a week, a new blanket and toys and gloves for the children. Toys will also be given to nearly 4,000 children.

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