Sunday, June 2, 2002

P&G finalizes $1 billion stock deal with Smucker

CINCINNATI -- Procter & Gamble Co. finalized a $1 billion stock deal Saturday that transferred its Jif peanut butter and Crisco cooking products lines to J.M. Smucker Co.

Steven Ellcessor, the vice president of finance and administration for Smucker, said it had been interested in acquiring Jif for 20 to 25 years.

Procter officials didn't return calls seeking comment Saturday.

Under the deal announced by the companies in October, P&G shareholders will receive one share of new Smucker common stock for every 50 P&G shares they own by the close of business on Wednesday. P&G shareholders with fewer than 50 shares will receive a cash payment in lieu of fractional shares.

Applications for Sept. 11 victims fund called low

NEW YORK -- Only 10 families have completed applications for the federal government's Sept. 11 fund nearly nine months after the terrorist attacks that killed more than 3,000 people, the fund's administrator said Saturday.

Kenneth Feinberg, a Georgetown University law professor, said the final applications were made available to the families about eight weeks ago.

"I'm fairly confident that by the end of next year we'll have a success rate of over 90 percent," Feinberg said. "It's just taking more time that we thought it would. It's a new process, and people are unsure about how it will work."

The small figure reflects a number of factors, from the complexity of the process to the possibility of filing lawsuits, although Feinberg said that only four lawsuits have been filed so far.

Victims' groups say the lag is due in part to confusion about the fund's rules and awards from charities that have bought families time to weigh their options.

Attorneys of bomber McVeigh seek war medal

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Nearly a year after Timothy McVeigh was executed, his attorneys have asked a court to return items from the Oklahoma City bomber's trial, including family photographs and the Bronze Star McVeigh received in the Gulf War.

McVeigh's will was filed in Vigo County Probate Court on Tuesday so attorneys could begin to retrieve exhibits introduced during the penalty phase of his trial.

McVeigh, 33, was executed June 11, 2001, at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute. His death marked the first federal execution since 1963.

McVeigh's two-page will, dated July, 13, 2000, asks that attorney Rob Nigh Jr. be the recipient of his personal property, including documents, evidence and legal paperwork.

Tennessee inmate sues over porn magazines

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A death row inmate is suing to block a Tennessee prison policy that took effect Saturday banning sexually explicit publications like Playboy and Hustler.

Gary Bradford Cone contends in a lawsuit filed Friday that the state constitution protects inmates' access to such material.

Cone, convicted in 1982 of killing an elderly Memphis couple, is housed at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville. Earlier in the week, he lost a U.S. Supreme Court appeal of his death sentence.

Correction Commissioner Donal Campbell, citing security issues, gave prisoners the month of May to dispose of sexual materials before guards begin confiscating them. The announcement followed a 2000 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding an Arizona jail system's decision to ban adult books and magazines.

--From wire reports

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