State will be checking up on pet dealers

Published November 28, 2006

For a third year, state agriculture staff will check hundreds of Florida pet stores to assure people aren't buying sick or underage animals. Veterinarians and other inspectors will verify that puppies and kittens are at least 8 weeks old and that store owners provide customers with written certification of vaccinations and tests and a written description of the buyer's legal rights. Customers who suspect a violation of Florida's so-called Pet Lemon Law and want a refund, exchange or reimbursement for vet bills may contact the Division of Animal Industry at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352).

Walter Industries settles key dispute

Walter Industries said Monday that it settled a potentially disruptive dispute with two bondholders. Under the deal, CC Arbitrage and CNHCA Master Account will convert their notes to stock at about $17.80 per share and receive an undisclosed premium as well. Tampa-based Walter said the pact eliminates the need for a planned 2-for-1 stock split and clears the way next month for Walter to distribute shares of its stake in subsidiary Mueller Water Products. Walter investors are expected to receive 1.68 shares of Mueller stock - trading as MWA - per share of Walter stock.

Prius champion dies in air crash

David Hermance, 59, a Toyota Motor Corp. executive and engineer called "the American father of the Prius," for introducing the technology here, died Saturday when the aerobatic airplane he was piloting dove into the sea. "When that car came out, no one knew what it was," said Bill Reinert, a Toyota national manager. "Dave dedicated his life to championing this technology."

Interest sinks on Treasury bills

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills fell in Monday's auction to the lowest levels since early October. The Treasury Department auctioned $18-billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 4.905 percent, down from 4.940 percent last week. Another $16-billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 4.935 percent, down from 4.940 percent last week.