Clovis News

Business briefs: Pelco dumps 17 sales jobs

Pelco, one of Clovis' largest employers, is cutting 17 sales positions in a reorganization of its staff.

The company, a manufacturer of video surveillance and security equipment, announced the cuts in a statement Wednesday. The layoffs result from consolidating sales divisions under one global sales operations team, Pelco President and CEO Dean Meyer said. By merging the operations, Meyer said, the company can "eliminate duplication of efforts."

The reductions are in the areas of American sales operations, strategic accounts and global sales operations. The consolidated functions will be led by global sales director John Roman, who reports to Cliff Holtz, Pelco's senior vice president of American sales.

Fresno State holds naming ceremony today

The naming of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology will be celebrated at 11 a.m. today at California State University, Fresno. The ceremony will take place outdoors on the east side of the Ag Science building.

The California State University board of trustees approved naming the agricultural college on Wednesday. Last month, Dee Jordan presented school officials with a $29 million gift on behalf of her late husband, Hanabul "Bud" Jordan, and his late brother, Lowell Jordan.

It is the largest single cash gift in the history of Fresno State or the California State University system.

During today's event, a new logo bearing the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology name will be unveiled.

General Mills scolded over Cheerios claims

Federal regulators have scolded the maker of Cheerios, saying the company made inappropriate claims about the popular cereal's ability to lower cholesterol and treat heart disease.

The Food and Drug Administration said in a warning letter to General Mills that language on the Cheerios box suggests the cereal is designed to prevent or treat heart disease by lowering cholesterol.

The FDA allows companies that market whole grain foods like Cheerios to highlight their ability to reduce the risk of heart disease. While the box carries that claim in the lower left corner, the language about cholesterol is much larger and appears separately -- something the FDA does not allow.

General Mills said the health claims on Cheerios have been approved for 12 years, and the FDA's complaints deal with how the language appears on the box, not the cereal itself.

Lawmakers question AIG plan and demand details

WASHINGTON -- The government-installed head of AIG told Congress on Wednesday that the insurance giant is making progress toward repaying U.S. taxpayers by selling many of its foreign assets, but lawmakers questioned whether the plan makes sense and demanded details.

American International Group Inc. Chief Executive Edward Liddy said the company has reduced, but not eliminated, the risk its failure could pose to the global economy despite getting more than $180 billion in federal bailout aid.

Also ...

* Casino operator MGM Mirage, majority-owned by billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, said Wednesday that it plans to raise $2.5 billion through stock and bond offerings to pay off some of its more than $14 billion in debt and strengthen its balance sheet.

* Verizon Communications Inc. said Wednesday it reached a deal to sell scattered phone service areas outside its main Northeastern and Californian territories for $5.3 billion in stock. The buyer is Frontier Communications Corp., based in Stamford, Conn. The company focuses on serving small towns and rural areas and will triple in size with the deal.