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Pilots, Northwest near agreemenNegotiators for the pilots...


Pilots, Northwest near agreemen

Negotiators for the pilots union and Northwest Airlines are believed to be close to agreement on an equity stake for workers and a formula that would seal a $65 million gap between what the company wants the pilots to contribute to a concessions pot and what union leaders have offered.

But with a possible bankruptcy filing days away, nothing is firm, despite signs of progress. Potential obstacles are how much power workers will wield in an overhauled Northwest and how the company will restructure $4 billion in debt.

GEICO might sell AVEMCO stake

AVEMCO Corp. in Frederick and GEICO Corp. in Chevy

Chase said GEICO might sell its 34.1 percent AVEMCO stake, which consists of 3.89 million shares.

GEICO said it was contemplating the sale because it wants to concentrate more on its core business of automobile insurance. AVEMCO, an insurer primarily to the aviation industry, said GEICO's sale of its stake would allow broader dispersion of its stock and also permit the company to repurchase some of the shares as part of an ongoing repurchase program.

IBM uses laser to store data

Scientists at an IBM research laboratory in Silicon Valley in California said yesterday that they had developed an optical technique that allows ultra-dense storage of computer data.

The storage system uses a short wave-length laser to store information at 2.5 billion bits a square inch, five times more than today's most advanced optical disk drives.

Home Federal restrictions lifted

Home Federal Corp. in Hagerstown said the Office of Thrift Supervision lifted lending restrictions after Home Federal successfully completed a stock offer to raise about $2.5 million.

Home Federal said it sold 1.18 million shares and it plans to use the proceeds to boost the capital levels of its unit, Home Federal Savings Bank.

BJ's to open Charles Co. store

Interstate General Co. L.P. said it sold a 10.3-acre tract in its St. Charles planned community to the parent company of BJ's Warehouse Club.

BJ's, the nation's largest discount warehouse shopping chain, plans to open its first Charles County outlet on the site in the fall.

Martin gets $56 million contract

Martin Marietta Corp. received a three-year, $56 million contract to help integrate the systems to be used to upgrade the nation's air traffic control system, the Federal Aviation VTC Administration said.


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