Region briefs 07/01/03

Tuesday, July 1, 2003

River Campus hearing now set for July 28

A hearing on Cape Girardeau businessman Jim Drury's third River Campus lawsuit has been delayed until later this month because the plaintiff's attorney, Walter Drusch, recently underwent heart bypass surgery, circuit court officials said.

A hearing, which had been scheduled for today, has been pushed back to July 28 at 9 a.m. at the courthouse in Jackson.

Retired judge Robert Crist of Shelbina, Mo., will hold a hearing on the city of Cape Girardeau's motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

The Missouri Supreme Court appointed Crist to hear the latest River Campus lawsuit after the previous judge appointed by the court was disqualified by Drusch.

Drury, a Cape Girardeau motel and restaurant owner, is seeking to block the use of city tax dollars to help fund Southeast Missouri State University's development of a visual and performing arts campus on the grounds of a former Catholic seminary overlooking the Mississippi River.

This is Drury's third lawsuit against the city over the project since April 1999. The university broke ground for the project on May 27.

Missourians given $30 million in disaster relief

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missourians have been approved for $30.2 million so far in federal disaster assistance grants and low-interest loans following May's storms and tornadoes, officials said Monday.

That includes $3.7 million in grants for medical, funeral, property and moving expenses; $3.6 million in grants for home repairs and temporary rental assistance not covered by insurance; and $22.9 million in Small Business Administration loans to 670 Missourians affected by the storms.

About $33,000 in disaster unemployment assistance has been paid to 75 Missourians who are out of work because of the storms.

The deadline for filing claims for disaster unemployment assistance is July 7 for people in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Iron, Monroe and Phelps counties.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has received almost 6,500 applications for individual assistance from residents of 74 counties.

The last day to apply for individual disaster assistance also is July 7. The toll-free application phone number is (800) 621-3362.

St. Louis-based May buys assets of Modern Tuxedo

ST. LOUIS -- The May Department Stores Co. has added to its bridal and formal wear business by purchasing the assets of Modern Tuxedo. Terms of the cash transaction, announced Monday, were not disclosed.

St. Louis-based May will operate Modern Tuxedo stores as part of its Bridal Group, which includes David's Bridal, After Hours Formalwear, and Priscilla of Boston.

Modern Tuxedo is the leading tuxedo rental and sales retailer in Chicago and its suburbs, with annual sales of about $12 million at 25 stores. Gerry Avi will continue as president of Modern Tuxedo. Owner Peter Abruzzo will serve as a consultant.

The addition contributes to May's goal of developing a national bridal/formal wear chain, said Robert Huth, who heads the Bridal Group.

"The synergy between David's Bridal and After Hours is at core of our ability to establish an enduring relationship with the engaged couple, providing merchandise and services for the wedding event," he said.

The company hopes the relationship extends beyond the wedding ceremony, May chairman and chief executive Gene Kahn said.

-- From staff, wire reports

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