Clovis News

Business briefs: 3 Gottschalks execs laid off

3 Gottschalks execs laid off

Three vice presidents are no longer in their leadership roles at Gottschalks Inc. as the Fresno-based retailer winds down its operations in bankruptcy.

In documents filed Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company reported the April 3 departures of Daniel T. Warzenski, its vice president and chief financial officer; Scott G. Manson, senior vice president and general merchandise manager; and Michael J. Schmidt, senior vice president and director of stores.

Warzenski said the three were among about 260 people laid off at Gottschalks' corporate headquarters after the sale of the company's assets to a group of liquidators. The financial role Warzenski had filled since 2007 will be taken on by Gregory Ambro, Gottschalks' executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Manson joined Gottschalks in 2004, while Schmidt had been in his position as director of stores since 1985.

BBB warns of check scam

The Better Business Bureau serving Central California is warning banks about a new variety of the Nigerian check scam. The agency has received dozens of calls in the last three weeks from people asking if the checks are legitimate.

The newest round of checks come from a variety of U.S.-based sources, some alleging that the recipient has won a prize. Others claim the recipient has been chosen to become a mystery shopper.

The checks come with instructions to cash them, wire a certain percentage to a third party and wait for an even larger check to come in the mail. In this scam, recipients receive checks ranging from $2,900 to $9,700 that have security features and what appear to be legitimate signatures.

Crops in Carolinas feel chill

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Temperatures dropped across the Carolinas in a late-season cold snap that had farmers scrambling to protect their budding harvests and avoid millions of dollars in crop damage.

State officials and farmers said their crops, including apple and peach orchards just beginning to blossom, appeared unharmed Wednesday, but they wouldn't know for sure for several days.

Colorado milk linked to illness

MONTROSE, Colo. -- A western Colorado dairy has been ordered to stop distributing raw milk after 11 people got sick.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has shut down the Kinikin Corner Dairy LLC after 11 people were sickened by campylobacter, a common food-borne bacteria. State authorities say at least 10 of the people who got sick since March 10 reported drinking raw milk, and eight of them got their milk from Kinikin.

Raw milk is not pasteurized to kill disease, but many people prefer its taste. Colorado health officials say they are contacting Kinikin's 200 cow-share customers.

Also ...

* Barclays PLC said Thursday that it has agreed to sell its U.S.-based asset management business iShares to European private equity firm CVC Capital Partners Group, booking a net gain of $2.2 billion from the sale.

* 3M Co. is offering early retirement packages to 3,600 employees, or 11% of its U.S. work force.

* Wild Water Adventures will hold a job fair Saturday as it recruits seasonal workers to fill up to 400 jobs at the water amusement park. The fair is from 1 to 4 p.m. at the park, 11413 E. Shaw Ave. in Clovis, 11 miles east of Clovis Avenue.

* Luxembourg-based Cargolux Airlines International SA, Japan-based Nippon Cargo Airlines Co. Ltd. and Korean carrier Asiana Airlines Inc. have agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to fix prices in the air cargo industry, and they will pay a total of $214 million in fines, U.S. prosecutors said Thursday.