CAR_Public/020923.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
              Monday, September 23, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 188

                              Headlines
                             
ANNTAYLOR STORES: NY Court Issues Final Decree on $3.3MM Settlement
ARIZONA: Tax Case Settlement on Out-Of-State Dividends Put At $350M
BARNEYS NEW: Confident Class Action in California Won't Prosper
BIKO INC.: Concludes Class Suit With Final Payment of Settlement Offer
BLACK & DECKER: Recalls 140,000 Cordless Electric Lawn Mowers

BOMBAY COMPANY: California Managers File Suit Seeking Overtime Pay
CANADA SAFEWAY: Recalls Products Containing Undeclared Sulphites
CISCO SYSTEMS: Building Defense Against California Shareholders' Suit
COLE NATIONAL: Faces Wage Claims Seeking Class Action Status in CA
DAVE & BUSTER'S: Directors Sued for Breach of Fiduciary Duties

DEUTSCHE BAHN: German Court Nixes Higher Pay Claims for Crash Victims
FEDERATED DEPARTMENT: Discovery, Motion to Dismiss Remain Pending
FEDERATED DEPARTMENT: Dismissal of Derivative Shareholder Suit Appealed
GART SPORTS: Now Facing Four Wage Claims in California
LABONTE HONEY: Canadian Food Regulator Clarifies September 12 Recall

LITTLE QUALICUM: Recalls Cheese Contaminated With "Listeria" Bacteria
MASSACHUSETTS: Students Who Failed State Test Claim Bias, To File Suit
MEDI-HUT CO.: Faces Several Securities-Related Suits in New Jersey
MEN'S WEARHOUSE: Court Suspends Summary Judgment, to Rule Next Week
MENORAH GARDENS: Hearing on Suit's Status Continues; DNA Samples Taken

MERRICK PET: Salmonella Contamination Forces Firm to Recall Product
METAWAVE COMMUNICATIONS: Vows to Clear Name in Securities Fraud Suits
MICHAELS STORES: CA Settlement Final, As Appeal Deadline Expires
MOTORCAR PARTS: Former CFO Pleads Guilty to Lying to Investors
NCI BUILDING: Says Pending Securities Suits Won't Have Material Effects

NIKON INC.: Recalls 9,100 Coolpix 2000-Model Digital Cameras
OHIO: Families Sue State for Defective Child Support System
QUALITY NATURAL: Recalls Product Containing Undeclared Peanut Protein
ROCK HILL: More Stockholders File Lawsuit Against Troubled Bank
TRANS WORLD: Settles Antitrust Lawsuits Without Admitting Wrongdoing

VISA/MASTERCARD: Retailers' Debit Card Lawsuit Set for Trial Next Year

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS: Wechsler Harwood Files Suit in C.D. California
EXODUS COMMUNICATIONS: Emerson Firm Brings Securities Suit in S.D. NY
GLAXOSMITHKLINE: Goodkind Labaton Begins Antitrust Lawsuit in S.D. NY
HEALTSOUTH CORPORATION: Emerson Firm Lodges Lawsuit in N.D. Alabama
INKTOMI CORPORATION: Cauley Geller Commences Lawsuit in S.D. New York

INTERPUBLIC GROUP: Rabin & Peckel Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
INTERPUBLIC GROUP: Marc S. Henzel Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
MORGAN STANLEY: Emerson Firm Commences Securities Suit in S.D. New York
WALT DISNEY: Shapiro Haber Commences Securities Suit in C.D. California
XCEL ENERGY: Kaplan Fox Commences Securities Fraud Suit in Minnesota


                              *********


ANNTAYLOR STORES: NY Court Issues Final Decree on $3.3MM Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Ann Taylor Stores Corporation disclosed in its latest Securities and
Exchange Commission filing that the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York entered on June 19, 2002 a final judgment
approving the previously disclosed settlement of the stockholder class
action Novak v. Kasaks, et al., 96 Civ. 3073 (AGS) filed in that Court.

Early this year, the Company agreed to settle for $3.3 million the
securities class action against it, its wholly owned subsidiary
AnnTaylor, Inc., and certain former officers and directors, alleging
federal securities violations.

The complaint had alleged causes of action under Section 10(b) and
Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended,
asserting that the defendants made false and misleading statements
about the Company and AnnTaylor, Inc. during the period commencing
February 3, 1994 through May 4, 1995.

It admitted no wrongdoing but pursued the settlement to avoid the
significant legal fees, other expenses and management time that would
have to be devoted to continue to vigorously defend the suit in the
courts.  

The Company is a national retailer of upscale women's clothing designed
exclusively for its own stores.  Its Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft
shops offer apparel, shoes, and accessories.  Targeting fashion-
conscious professional women, AnnTaylor operates about 540 stores
across the U.S.  Most are located in malls and upscale retail centers.  
Ann Taylor Loft stores offer their own label of mid-priced apparel,
while Ann Taylor Factory Stores offer clearance merchandise from both
Ann Taylor stores.


ARIZONA: Tax Case Settlement on Out-Of-State Dividends Put At $350 MM
---------------------------------------------------------------------
A settlement said to have a $350 million price tag for the state is
emerging in a tax refund class-action lawsuit with significant budget
ramifications, according to the Associated Press Newswires.

Tax Court Judge Paul Katz said that lawyers in the case told him they
have agreed on terms of a $350 million settlement, payable by the state
over four years, and will present him with a written proposal for a
hearing next Monday.

The case stems from income taxes ruled to have been collected illegally
from thousands of taxpayers for some corporate dividends in the late
1980s.  The state has agreed that it should not have taxed non-Arizona
companies' dividends at one rate while giving more favorable treatment
to dividends paid by in-state companies.

The case is important for the state and its taxpayers for two reasons:
First, it produced a state Supreme Court's 2001 ruling, fought by the
state, that said taxpayers can band together to file class-action
lawsuits to challenge tax laws and decisions.  Second, the case's
potential overall cost to the state has been estimated as high as $600
million at a time when the state faces a budget crisis.

While the specific terms have not yet been revealed to Judge Katz, two
people with knowledge of the terms, and who spoke on the condition of
anonymity to the Associated Press, said it would require the state to
pay $350 million over a period of four years -- the two terms critical
to the state's continued fiscal stability.

The state faces a projected shortfall of up to $400 million in the
current $6.2 billion budget and a $1 billion projected shortfall in the
budget that will be written next spring for the 2003-04 fiscal year.

"It won't all be paid out in a lump sum because we are all sensitive to
the state's budget situation," Judge Katz said.  Judge Katz said he
will consider the fairness of the proposed settlement during Monday's
court hearing.

Individual taxpayers will be given a chance to drop out of the class-
action case and pursue refunds on their own.  If the proposed
settlement remains on track during that process, final approval could
come by late December or early January, the judge said.


BARNEYS NEW: Confident Class Action in California Won't Prosper
---------------------------------------------------------------
In a latest Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure, Barneys New
York, Inc. admitted that it is facing a class action in the Superior
Court for the State of California, County of San Diego.

The suit was filed on July 31, 2002 by an individual alleging two
causes of action for purported violations of California's Civil Code
and Business and Professions Code relating to the alleged requesting by
the Company of certain information.

"The Company is reviewing the lawsuit and believes that the Complaint
is without merit. The Company believes that it has substantial defenses
to the claims and plans to vigorously defend the lawsuit," said the SEC
document. "In management's judgment, based in part on consultation with
legal counsel, this case is not expected to have a material adverse
effect on the Company's financial position."

The slimmed-down yet still debt-laden company emerged from Chapter 11
bankruptcy protection in 1999.  The tony retailer features upscale
apparel for men, women, and children; shoes; accessories; and home
furnishings. It operates eight full-price stores (including flagship
stores in New York City; Beverly Hills, California; and Chicago) and 12
outlets.

Barney Pressman founded the company in 1923 with money he raised by
pawning his wife's engagement ring; the Pressman family now owns less
than 2% of the company. Two investment firms, Bay Harbour Management
and Whippoorwill Associates, each own about 38% of Barneys.


BIKO INC.: Concludes Class Suit With Final Payment of Settlement Offer
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On September 19, 2002, the Company announced that it made the final
payment in connection with its class action lawsuit, thus finally
ending the Walsingham v. BICO class action litigation that began in
1996. The final class action settlement was approved by the U.S.
District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on September 9,
2002, subject to the final payment made September 18, 2002. This
concludes the Company's only class action litigation.

The settlement is part of the Company's continued efforts to re-
organize and restructure its operations and financial position.
Although the Company continues to suffer cash flow problems and deal
with its payables, the Company's new chief executive officer Stan
Cottrell stated that he believes the company is taking steps in the
right direction. The Company continues to reduce its overhead and
streamline its operations and administrative expenses; so far, the
Company has reduced its compensation costs from approximately $1
million per month in September 2001 to approximately $350,000 per month
for September 2002. On an annualized basis, this reduction in
compensation costs would result in savings of approximately $7.8
million per year.


BLACK & DECKER: Recalls 140,000 Cordless Electric Lawn Mowers
-------------------------------------------------------------
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC),
Black & Decker (U.S.) Inc., of Towson, Md., is voluntarily recalling to
repair about 140,000 cordless electric lawn mowers. An electrical
component in the lawn mower can overheat, posing a possible fire
hazard.
        
Black & Decker has received 11 reports of electrical components
overheating.  One of these resulted in a minor hand burn and nine
resulted in reports of minor property damage extending beyond the
mower.
        
The mowers were sold under both the Black & Decker and Craftsman brand
names.  The recalled Black & Decker cordless electric lawn mowers have
the model number CMM1000 or CMM1000R and date codes from 9534 through
200230, both of which are located on the silver and black label affixed
to the rear door of the mower.  The lawn mowers have either an orange
or green deck cover with a black motor cover.  The lawn mowers have the
words "Black & Decker" and "Cordless" on top of the motor cover.
        
The Craftsman-brand mowers, which were sold at Sears, have model number
900.370520 and include all date codes.  The model number is located on
the silver and black label affixed to the rear door of the mower.  The
Sears lawn mowers have a dark green deck with a black motor cover.  The
lawn mowers have the words "Craftsman" and "24 Volt Cordless" on top of
the motor cover.
        
Home centers, hardware and discount stores nationwide sold the Black &
Decker lawn mowers from February 1996 through August 2002 for between
$360 and $400.  Craftsman-brand mowers were sold at Sears stores
nationwide from January 1998 through December 2000 for between $360 and
$400.
        
Consumers with either brand recalled lawn mower should stop using it
immediately.  Black & Decker mower owners should call Black & Decker
toll-free at 866-229-5570 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday
through Friday, or log onto the company's web site at
http://www.blackanddecker.comto receive information on the free  
repair. Craftsman mower owners should take their mower to the nearest
Sears store or Sears product repair center for a free repair.
        
Black & Decker recalled 1,300 cordless electric mowers with model
number CMM1000R on January 23, 2002.  For more information about that
recall, contact Black & Decker at the toll-free number listed above.

To see a picture of the recalled product(s), click on this link:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml02/02254.html


BOMBAY COMPANY: California Managers File Suit Seeking Overtime Pay
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Bombay Company, Inc. recently disclosed in a Securities and
Exchange Commission filing that it had been served a with a summons and
complaint of a lawsuit, seeking class action status, asserting claims
for overtime pay under California law for its store managers.

"Based upon [our] review of the complaint and [our] initial
investigation of this matter, [we] believe the plaintiffs' claims are
without merit and [we] intend to vigorously defend against them," the
company said in its latest SEC disclosure.  

"While it is not possible to predict the outcome of this legal action
or provide a reasonable estimate of potential liability, if any, that
may arise, the Company believes that costs resulting from the action
will not have a material adverse impact on its consolidated financial
position, cash flows or liquidity, but could possibly be material to
the consolidated results of operations in a particular quarter or
fiscal year," the company said.

According to a www.hoovers.com dossier, the company operates about 420
stores, mostly in malls throughout the US and Canada, offering classic
and traditional furniture, wall decor, and accessories for the bedroom,
dining room, home office, and living room.


CANADA SAFEWAY: Recalls Products Containing Undeclared Sulphites
----------------------------------------------------------------
Canada Safeway is warning people with sensitivities to sulphites not to
consume Safeway Select Firecrackers Beef, Cheese & Jalapeno Appetizers
(227g package of 8, UPC 58200 10457) because the product label does not
list sulphites as an ingredient. All packages with best before dates
prior to Aug 29, 2003 are affected by this Alert. The code date
displayed on the package reads "Best Before/Meilleur Avant 1 03 AU 29."

Canada Safeway is voluntarily recalling this product because the
undeclared sulphites may cause a serious or life threatening reaction
in persons with sensitivities to sulphites.

There have been no reported allergic reactions to date.

This product is sold at all Canada Safeway stores in Western Canada
(BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and N.W. Ontario). Customers who
have purchased the product may return it for a full refund.

For more information, contact Linda Toby Oswald-Felker, Vice President,
Public Relations & Government Affairs, Canada Safeway Limited, by
Phone: 403-730-3511


CISCO SYSTEMS: Building Defense Against California Shareholders' Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Cisco Systems, Inc. vows to mount a vigorous defense against the
consolidated shareholder class action in the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of California.  

These suits, filed beginning April 20, 2001, allege that the Company
and certain of its officers and directors made false and misleading
statements, purport to assert claims for violations of the federal
securities laws, and seek unspecified compensatory damages and other
relief.  Purported class includes those who purchased the Company's
publicly traded securities between August 10, 1999 and February 6,
2001.  

"Cisco believes the claims are without merit and intends to defend the
actions vigorously," a latest Securities and Exchange Commission filing
said.

In addition to this class action, Cisco Systems, Inc. also faces a
number of purported shareholder derivative lawsuits filed in the
Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara and in the Superior
Court of California, County of San Mateo.

In its SEC disclosure, the Company said the complaints in the various
derivative actions include claims for breach of fiduciary duty, waste
of corporate assets, mismanagement, unjust enrichment, and violations
of the California Corporations Code.  They also seek compensatory and
other damages, disgorgement and other relief.

Cisco Systems is the leader in the market for equipment used to link
networks and power the Internet.  The company's bread and butter are
the routers and switches that account for 70% of its sales; Cisco's
switch line includes equipment based on Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet,
Token Ring, and ATM technologies.

Other products include remote access servers, IP telephony equipment,
optical networking components, and network service and security
systems.  It sells its products primarily to large enterprises and
telecommunications service providers, but it also has products designed
for small businesses and consumers.  Cisco generates about 40% of its
revenues outside the US.


COLE NATIONAL: Faces Wage Claims Seeking Class Action Status in CA
------------------------------------------------------------------
Vision care products provider Cole National Group, Inc. told the
Securities and Exchange Commission recently that a subsidiary is facing
a class action complaint in California over violation of wage and hour
laws.

"The case is in its early stages and the Company intends to vigorously
defend the suit.  We may be required to modify our activities and pay
damages and/or restitution in currently undeterminable amounts if the
plaintiffs prevail, the cost of which, as well as continuing defense
costs, might have a material adverse impact on our operating results in
one or more periods," the company said in its latest SEC filing.

According to a Yahoo.com dossier, Cole National Group, Inc. provides
eyewear products, optometric services and personalized gifts through
two units: Cole Vision and Things Remembered.  It operates 2,917 retail
outlets in 50 states, Canada and the Caribbean.  It also holds an
approximately 21% interest in Pearle Europe B.V., which operates 943
retail optical locations in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria,
Italy, Poland and Portugal.

The Company's retail vision locations do business primarily under the
names Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical and BJ's Optical,
and its managed vision care programs are offered primarily through Cole
Managed Vision (collectively, Cole Vision).  Personalized gifts are
offered through retail locations, e-commerce and catalogs by Things
Remembered.

For the 26 weeks ended August 3, 2002, the company's revenues rose 6%
to $579 million.  Net income before extraordinary item totaled $6.2
million, up from $2.1 million.  Revenues reflect increased comparable
store sales in the Company's vision segment.  Earnings also reflect
improved gross margins, the dossier says.


DAVE & BUSTER'S: Directors Sued for Breach of Fiduciary Duties
--------------------------------------------------------------
Dave & Buster's, Inc., a restaurant and entertainment center operator,
told the Securities and Exchange Commission recently that it had
received several complaints alleging breaches of fiduciary duties by
company directors.

The complaints, filed purportedly on behalf of stockholders, claim that
the approval of the transactions contemplated in a merger agreement in
May constituted the breach.  The purported class action, filed in state
district court in Dallas County, Texas on May 31, 2002, purports to
seek an injunction preventing consummation of the originally proposed
tender offer and merger transaction and unspecified damages.

"We have received four similar complaints filed in the State of
Missouri, one in the circuit court of Greene County and three in the
circuit court of Cole County, each filed in June 2002. We and each
member of our Board of Directors have been named as defendants in each
of the complaints," the Company said in its latest SEC disclosure.

"We have answered the complaint filed in Dallas County, denying all of
the allegations of the plaintiffs, which we believe to be without
merit.  We have filed a motion to dismiss for the complaint filed in
Greene County for improper venue, which motion is currently pending
before the court.  In July 2002, the plaintiffs in the Dallas County
and one of the Cole County complaints filed amended class action
complaints alleging that the cash consideration in the amended merger
transaction of $13.50 per share is inadequate and renewing the initial
allegations of their complaints.  We have not yet filed an answer in
any of the Cole County cases," the Company said.

On May 30, 2002 the Company announced that it had entered into a
definitive merger agreement under which a group led by the company's
founders and certain members of the senior executive management,
together with Investcorp S.A., a global investment group, and co-
investors organized by Investcorp, will acquire the company through a
newly formed holding company, D&B Holdings I, Inc.

The transaction was originally structured as a cash tender offer by D&B
Acquisition Sub, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of D&B Holdings, for
all outstanding shares of the company's common stock at a price of
$12.00 per share, to be followed by a merger, which would result in
Dave & Buster's becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of D&B Holdings.

On July 10, 2002, the Company announced that the tender offer by D&B
Acquisition Sub. had expired without sufficient shares being tendered
to complete the transaction.  On July 12, 2002, the company entered
into an amendment to the merger agreement providing that the
consideration proposed to be paid for the company's common stock was
increased to $13.50 in cash per share and that the company would
proceed with a single-step, all-cash merger that would be submitted for
a vote at a special meeting of shareholders.

Shareholders representing at least 66 2/3 of outstanding common stock
must vote in favor of the merger for it to be completed.  The Company
further announced that D&B Acquisition Sub had secured the written
agreement of three of the company's largest shareholders to vote in
favor of the merger.

The total transaction value is approximately $275 million, including
the refinancing of Dave & Buster's debt.  A special committee of three
independent, non-employee directors, with the advice of Houlihan Lokey
Howard & Zukin, recommended approval of the merger transaction as so
amended, which was also unanimously approved by the Board of Directors.

Part restaurant, part saloon, and part carnival midway, Dave & Buster's
(D&B) is all fun for more than 16 million patrons, according to a
www.hoovers.com dossier.  D&B's offers casual dining, full bar
services, and adult game centers through 31 restaurant and
entertainment complexes in 14 US states. D&B's also has two locations
operating under license in Canada and Taiwan.  Its cavernous game rooms
feature the latest in video games and motion simulators, as well as
games of skill in which players can win coupons redeemable for
merchandise.  Its menu features traditional American fare such as
burgers, seafood, and steak.  D&B games generate nearly half the
company's revenue; alcoholic beverages account for nearly 20% of sales.  
An investment group led by D&B management wanted to buy the company in
2002 for about $255 million but failed to acquire enough shares before
the deal expired.


DEUTSCHE BAHN: German Court Nixes Higher Pay Claims for Crash Victims
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Relatives of those killed in Germany's worst rail crash are not
entitled to higher compensation payments than those already made by
national railroad Deutsche Bahn, a Berlin court ruled recently,
according to an Associated Press Newswires report.

The Berlin state court gave no explanation for its rejection of the
complaint by six people who lost relatives in the 1998 derailment near
the western city of Eschede.

Deutsche Bahn paid relatives of the 101 people killed about 15,000
euros each after the crash.  The six plaintiffs in the recent lawsuit
were seeking about 125,000 euros for each of the surviving relatives.

Reiner Geulen, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said a decision whether to
appeal depends on whether a United States court admits a class-action
lawsuit brought by an American woman injured in the crash.  The lawsuit
is against companies including Deutsche Bahn and Thyssen-Krupp.

Thyssen-Krupp made the wheel, which investigators believe broke,
causing the high-speed train bound for Hamburg to derail and slam into
a bridge pillar.

The Berlin court rejected a motion by the plaintiffs to suspend
hearings until after the verdict in the ongoing trial of three railroad
engineers charged with negligent homicide for the deaths, because of
their responsibility for the safety of the wheels.


FEDERATED DEPARTMENT: Discovery, Motion to Dismiss Remain Pending
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The discovery on the securities suits filed against the Federated
Department Stores, Inc. two years ago has yet to commence, while the
company's motion to dismiss the complaint remains pending, a Securities
and Exchange Commission document says.

The five substantially identical purported class actions were
originally filed in August, September and October 2000 on behalf of
persons who purchased shares of the Company between February 23, 2000
and July 20, 2000.  

The cases, now pending in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, have been consolidated into a single
case (In Re Federated Department Stores, Inc. Securities Litigation,
Case No. 00-CV-6362 (RCC)) and a consolidated amended complaint has
been filed.  The Company and certain members of its senior management
were named defendants.

The Complaint alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, on the
basis that the Company, among other things, made false and misleading
statements regarding its financial condition and results of operations
and failed to disclose material information relating to the credit
delinquency problem at the Company's former Fingerhut subsidiary.  

The plaintiffs seek unspecified amounts of compensatory damages and
costs, including legal fees.  Management intends to defend vigorously
against those allegations.  

The Company is the largest upscale department store retailer in the US.
It operates almost 460 stores in 34 states, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
Federated also owns Bloomingdale's and five regional chains: The Bon
March,, Burdines, Rich's Department Stores, Lazarus, and Goldsmith's.
Its stores sell men's, women's, and children's apparel and accessories,
cosmetics, and home furnishings, among other things.

To cut losses, it recently restructured its direct retailing business
by shutting down some catalog operations and revamping its various Web
sites.  The company had just sold off its Fingerhut unit.


FEDERATED DEPARTMENT: Dismissal of Derivative Shareholder Suit Appealed
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs who sued the Federated Department Stores, Inc. in February
have appealed the dismissal of their shareholder derivative suit, the
company said in its latest Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

On February 14 and February 26, 2002, two essentially identical
shareholder derivative lawsuits were filed in a Minnesota state court,
purportedly on behalf of the Company, naming as defendants the
Company's directors, its Fingerhut subsidiary and certain officers of
Fingerhut.  

The complaints alleged that the defendants breached their fiduciary
duties to the Company in connection with the disposition of Fingerhut
and sought an injunction to prevent the liquidation of Fingerhut or a
sale of Fingerhut's assets other than as a going concern.  

The defendants removed these lawsuits to the United States District
Court for the District of Minnesota (Wesenberg vs. Zimmerman, et al,
Case No. 02-CV-527; Alaska Ironworkers Pension Trust vs. Zimmerman, et
al; Case No. 02-CV-528).  One of these lawsuits (Case No. 02-CV-528)
was voluntarily dismissed without prejudice in May 2002.  In the second
lawsuit (Case No. 02-CV-527), the defendants filed a motion to dismiss,
which was granted by the court on June 24, 2002.  The dismissal of this
second lawsuit is now the subject of appeal.


GART SPORTS: Now Facing Four Wage Claims in California
------------------------------------------------------
In June 2000, a former employee of Sportmart brought two class action
complaints in California against the Company, alleging certain wage and
hour claims in violation of the California Labor Code, California
Business and Professional Code section 17200 and other related matters.
One complaint alleges that the Company classified certain managers in
its California stores as exempt from overtime pay when they would have
been classified as non-exempt and paid overtime.  The second complaint
alleges that the Company failed to pay hourly employees in its
California stores for all hours worked.

In March 2001, a third class action complaint was filed in the same
court in California alleging the same wage and hour violations
regarding classification of certain managers as exempt from overtime
pay. In July 2001, a fourth complaint was filed alleging that store
managers should also not be classified as employees exempt from
overtime pay. All the complaints seek compensatory damages, punitive
damages and penalties. The amount of damages sought is unspecified.

"Although the court denied motions to dismiss the first two complaints,
the Company intends to vigorously defend these matters and at this
time, the Company has not ascertained the future liability, if any, as
a result of these complaints.  The Company has not accrued any reserves
related to these claims," a latest SEC disclosure says

The Company, according to Hoovers, is the second-largest full-line
sporting goods chain in the US, behind The Sports Authority.  The
company has about 180 stores in 25 states in the western US.  Its Gart
Sports, Sportmart, and Oshman's Sporting Goods stores sell sporting
goods, footwear, and apparel and offer equipment repairs.  

Gart Sports' large-market, freestanding stores average 40,000 sq. ft.;
other stores are as small as 10,000 sq. ft. The company bought the
Oshman's Sporting Goods chain in June 2001, adding about 60 superstores
to its roster. Leonard Green & Partners owns 64% of Gart Sports, a
www.hoovers.com dossier says.


LABONTE HONEY: Canadian Food Regulator Clarifies September 12 Recall
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is issuing a clarification
to the recall notice issued September 12, 2002 regarding Paradise Brand
Natural Honey.

The product affected by the recall bears the brand and designation, "a
taste of paradise Natural Honey." The product is manufactured by
Labonte Honey Inc., Victoriaville, Quebec. This product is sold in a
500g glass container with UPC 0 64597 00113 0 bearing codes 012035,
022035 and 032035. This code is found on the bottle shoulder.

The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information on the Health Hazard Alert issued on September 12,
2002, please click on this link:
http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/2002/20020912e.sh
tml

Consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers for more
information on the previous alert:

Labont, Honey Inc., Jos,e Michaud, Quality Control at 819-758-3877.

For information on receiving recalls by electronic mail, or for other
food safety facts, visit http://www.inspection.gc.ca

For media enquiries, contact Jos,e Michaud, Labont, Honey Inc, Quality
Control by Phone: 819-758-3877.


LITTLE QUALICUM: Recalls Cheese Contaminated With "Listeria" Bacteria
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Little Qualicum
Cheeseworks Ltd. are expanding their warning to consumers not to eat
Tiny Tomme cheese as it may contain the bacteria responsible for
listeriosis in humans.  The initial warning was for British Columbia
only but now includes all of Canada.

This expanded advisory is to alert people who may have purchased the
affected product at various community events and festivals in British
Columbia and may still have it at home.

Little Qualicum Cheeseworks Ltd. Tiny Tomme cheese is sold in small
sized packages (150g to 200g) bearing the Best Before Date NOV. 16 02.
Some packages may not have the weights declared.

The manufacturer, Little Qualicum Cheeseworks Ltd., Vancouver Island,
British Columbia is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the
marketplace. This product is sold in British Columbia only.  The CFIA
is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell
spoiled.  Consumption of food contaminated with this bacteria can cause
listeriosis.  Listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck
stiffness, and nausea. Pregnant women, young children, the elderly and
people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Infected
pregnant woman may experience only a mild, flu like illness, however,
infections during pregnancy can lead to premature delivery, infection
of the newborn, or even stillbirth.

For information on receiving recalls by electronic mail, or for other
food safety facts, visit http://www.inspection.gc.ca

For media inquiries, contact: Garfield Balsom (English), Canadian Food
Inspection Agency Office of Food Safety and Recall, Telephone:
613-760-4232


MASSACHUSETTS: Students Who Failed State Test Claim Bias, To File Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers representing Holyoke and Springfield Students who failed the
MCAS exam plan to sue the state of Massachusetts, claiming the test
discriminates against the poor and minorities, reports the Associated
Press Newswires recently.  

The lawsuit seeks class-action status, citing a Class composed of black
and Hispanic students, students with limited English, students with
disabilities, vocational students and students from the Holyoke school
district.  The class-action lawsuit, which would be the first
contesting the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS),
challenges the test as well as a graduation requirement for the classes
of 2003 and thereafter. The lawsuit also claims that the exam is
invalid under the equal protection clauses of the state and federal
constitutions, and that it is unreliable and unfair.

Plaintiffs' attorneys from three public interest groups and a private
law firm are planning to file the suit this week in U.S. District Court
in Springfield, Massachusetts, on behalf of six members of the Class of
2003, who have failed the exam.

Defendants include the state Board of Education, the state Department
of Education, and the Holyoke school district.  DOE spokeswoman Heidi
Perlman said, "Every state that has ever instituted a high-stakes test
as a graduation requirement has been challenged in court," she said.

Ms. Perlman added:  "We are very well prepared to defend the state
law."

The test violates the equal protection provisions of state and federal
constitutions, as well as other laws, plaintiffs' attorneys contend.
"Instead of fixing struggling schools, the state, instead, opted to
enact a high-stakes exam that effectively has punished, sacrificed and
abandoned the students that were really the ones that needed the
education the most," said attorney Thomas Frongillo.

The lawsuit is being filed by representatives of the Center for Law and
Education, the Multicultural Education, Training and Advocacy group and
the Boston Bar Association's committee for civil rights.


MEDI-HUT CO.: Faces Several Securities-Related Suits in New Jersey
------------------------------------------------------------------
In its latest SEC report, Medi-Hut Co., Inc. said it received a total
of eleven class action lawsuits between March and April of 2002.  These
lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court, District of
New Jersey.

The complaints allege that Medi-Hut and its officers and directors
failed to disclose in its periodic reports a related party transaction
between Medi-Hut and an employee of Medi-Hut.  The plaintiffs seek
unspecified monetary damages along with fees and expenses for the
action.

"Our management believes the lawsuits are without merit and intends to
vigorously defend against and/or attempt to dismiss these class actions
lawsuits," the SEC document said.

Prior to these lawsuits, the company said the SEC, on February 21,
2002, had issued a formal order directing private investigation
entitled In the Matter of Medi-Hut Co., Inc.  According to the formal
order, the SEC is investigating, among other things, the accuracy of
the Company's SEC filings and financial disclosures, as well as the
sufficiency of the Company's system of internal accounting controls.


MEN'S WEARHOUSE: Court Suspends Summary Judgment, to Rule Next Week
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of California has rescheduled its tentative ruling
on the motion for summary judgment filed by The Men's Wearhouse, Inc.
in connection to a class action.  The suit alleges several causes of
action, each based on the factual allegation that the company had
advertised and sold men's slacks at a marked price that was exclusive
of a hemming fee for the pants.

In its recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
the company said the court was supposed to hand its decision on
September 13, but moved it to September 27.  Once announced, either
party may request oral argument before the court on its tentative
ruling.  

The suit was filed on May 11, 2001 in the Superior Court of California
for the County of San Diego, Cause No. GIC 767223.  The suit seeks:

     (i) permanent and preliminary injunctions against advertising
         slacks at prices, which do not include hemming;

    (ii) restitution of all funds allegedly acquired by means of any
         act or practice declared by the Court to be unlawful or
         fraudulent or to constitute unfair competition under certain
         California statutes,

   (iii) prejudgment interest;

    (iv) compensatory and punitive damages;

     (v) attorney's fees; and

    (vi) costs of suit.

"We believe that the suit is without merit and the allegations are
contrary to customary and well recognized and accepted practices in the
sale of men's tailored clothing.  The complaint in the suit was
subsequently amended to add similar causes of action and requests for
relief based upon allegations that our alleged "claims that [it]
sell[s] the same garments as department stores at 20% to 30% less" are
false and misleading," the Men's Wearhouse said in its disclosure. "We
believe that such added causes of action are also without merit. The
court ruled against the plaintiff's motion for class certification,
declining to certify a class."

The Company intends to vigorously defend the suit, the SEC document
said.

The Company is one of the largest retailers of men's business attire in
the US, with about 680 stores, including about 110 Moores outlets in
Canada. Its primary operation is Men's Wearhouse, which has about 500
stores, mostly in strip malls, in more than 40 states and Washington,
DC.  The chain sells tailored suits priced 20% to 30% less than
competitors, as well as shoes, formal wear, and casual clothes. The
Company's K&G Men's Center subsidiary has about 60 superstores, and its
Suit Warehouse chain, which includes five stores, sell clothes for even
less.  The founding Zimmer family owns about 15% of The Men's
Wearhouse.


MENORAH GARDENS: Hearing on Suit's Status Continues; DNA Samples Taken
----------------------------------------------------------------------
DNA samples recently were taken from a grave at Menorah Gardens
Cemetery, as law enforcement officials attempt to match them with
samples from remains found in a nearby wooded area, the Associated
Press Newswires has reported.

The cemetery has been accused of unearthing and moving bodies, dumping
them in the woods or stacking them atop one another to make room for
more.

"What we are trying to do," said Florida Department of Law Enforcement
spokesman James Born, is "determine if there was criminal wrongdoing;
if there was, we'll take appropriate action."

The Houston, Texas-based Service Corporation International owns and
manages Menorah Gardens. It has denied any knowledge of grave
desecration.  1,400 families have filed a class-action lawsuit charging
desecrations of various kinds.

The DNA samplings, along with the comparison of remains in nearby
woods, was being conducted in conjunction with hearings being held
during this period, so that the judge could determine whether enough
graves had been desecrated to have affected enough of the petitioning
families, so that they constituted a class.

Employees fired by the Company confirmed the allegations of the lawyers
for the families, in courtroom testimony, by testifying that they were
told by cemetery managers to make room for more bodies.

Officials from SCI attended the investigation at the cemetery, as did
cemetery officials, and a rabbi accompanied the technicians to ensure
that the work was done respectfully and properly, the South Florida
Sun-Sentinel reported.


MERRICK PET: Salmonella Contamination Forces Firm to Recall Product
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning consumers not to
purchase or use Merrick brand Pet Treats Delicatessen Style Beef Steak
Patties. This product may be contaminated with the bacteria responsible
for salmonellosis in humans.

The affected product, Merrick brand Pet Treats Delicatessen Style Beef
Steak Patties may be sold through bulk sales or from its original
cardboard carton containing 75 patties and bearing the UPC 0 22808
68007 9. All lot codes of the Merrick brand Pet Treats Delicatessen
Style Beef Steak Patties are affected by this recall.

The various importers of the affected product are voluntarily recalling
it from the marketplace. This pet treat is manufactured by Merrick Pet
Treats, Hereford, Texas. This product may have been distributed
nationally through retail stores.

Consumers are advised to verify with their retailers if they may have
purchased the affected product.

No other pet treat patties are affected by this recall.

Common symptoms of Salmonella infection are nausea, vomiting, abdominal
pain and diarrhea, although more serious consequences are possible,
especially in young children, in the elderly, and in people with
weakened immune systems. There have been reported human illnesses
associated with this product.

People may risk bacterial infection by handling the treats directly or
by contact with pets that have used the treats. Anyone who may have
handled the treats should wash their hands with warm water and soap.
Consumers should dispose of these treats in the trash.

The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, consumers and industry can call the CFIA at one
of the following numbers:

In the province of Quebec 1-800-561-3350; or in other provinces and
territories 1-800-442-2342. - 8:00 am to 4:00 pm local time - Monday to
Friday.

For information on receiving recalls by electronic mail, or for other
food safety facts, visit http://www.inspection.gc.ca

For media inquiries, contact Fred Jamieson (English), Canadian Food
Inspection Agency, Office of Food Safety and Recall by Phone:
613-760-4376


METAWAVE COMMUNICATIONS: Vows to Clear Name in Securities Fraud Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Metawave Communications Corporation declares it will prove its
innocence in the pending securities fraud lawsuits in Washington and
New York, but warned shareholders that the outcome of these suits are
unpredictable. It cannot assure them that the Company won't incur
liabilities.

In its latest SEC report, Metawave said a number of these class actions
name the company and its current and former officers as defendants.  
The suits pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District
of Washington purport to represent those who purchased the company's
common stock between April 2001 and March 2002.  The complaints allege
that the Company made false and misleading statements or omissions in
violation of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and seek unspecified compensatory damages and
other relief.

On November 6, 2001, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York against the
company and certain of our officers and directors as well as against
the underwriters who handled its April 26, 2000 initial public offering
of common stock.  

The complaint was filed on behalf of persons who purchased the
company's common stock during the time period beginning on April 26,
2000 and ending on December 6, 2000.  The complaint alleges violations
of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
primarily based on the assertion that there was undisclosed
compensation received by underwriters in connection with the initial
public offering.

"We intend to vigorously defend against these complaints. The results
of litigation proceedings are inherently unpredictable, however, and we
are unable to provide assurance regarding the outcome of these
complaints or possible damages that may be incurred," the SEC document
said.

"The uncertainty associated with these substantial unresolved lawsuits
could harm our business and financial condition," the Company warned.
"In addition, negative developments with respect to the lawsuits or the
investigation could cause our stock price to decline."  

Meanwhile, it said it is cooperating with an investigation being
conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission into the events
that led to the restatement of the company's financial results for
2001.  

"We have provided documents requested by the SEC and former and current
employees have met with SEC personnel.  No formal action has been taken
by the SEC against the Company, its employees or its directors as of
the filing of this report on Form 10-Q," Metawave said.

Metawave Communications makes software-controlled antenna systems that
enable wireless operators to increase analog and digital network
capacity without having to invest in additional cell sites.  Its
SpotLight antennas reduce signal interference caused by the constant
movement of wireless subscribers between service areas. Metawave's
SmartShare antenna sharing system enables multiple operators to share
one set of antenna panels.

It also offers engineering and training services. Customers include
Alltel (37% of sales), Grupo Iusacell (31%), and Verizon Wireless
(27%). Metawave is closing operations in Asia and cutting staff to
lower costs.


MICHAELS STORES: CA Settlement Final, As Appeal Deadline Expires
----------------------------------------------------------------
Michaels Stores, Inc. says none of the plaintiffs appealed the decision
by the Los Angeles County Superior Court, California, which approved on
June 12, 2002 the settlement of a class action suit against subsidiary,
Aaron Brothers, Inc.

In its latest SEC filing, the Company said the appeal period expired on
August 12, 2002.  "No appeals were filed with the Court. The settlement
payments were delivered to the settlement administrator on August 16,
2002 for distribution," its disclosure said.

On April 16, 1999, Suzanne Collins, a former assistant manager of our
subsidiary, Aaron Brothers, Inc., filed the class action on behalf of
Aaron Brothers' former store managers, assistant store managers, and
managers-in-training.

The Complaint alleged that Aaron Brothers violated various California
laws by erroneously treating its store managers, assistant store
managers, and managers-in-training as "exempt" employees who were not
entitled to overtime compensation.  

Based on these allegations, the Collins Complaint asserted that Aaron
Brothers:

     (i) violated various California Labor Codes;

    (ii) violated Section 17200 of the California Business and
         Professions Code; and

   (iii) engaged in conversion.

The complaint sought back wages, interest, penalties, punitive damages,
and attorneys' fees.

On March 15, 2002, Aaron Brothers negotiated a definitive settlement of
the purported class action with Collins, subject to final court
approval.  The Court granted preliminary approval of the settlement on
March 29, 2002.  As a result, Aaron Brothers recorded a litigation
settlement charge of $5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001,
covering all claims, attorneys' fees, and estimated payroll taxes.

The company is the nation's No.1 arts and crafts retailer.  It operates
about 710 Michaels Stores canvassing the US and Canada.  Michaels sells
silk and dried flowers, art and hobby supplies, frames, needlecraft
kits, virtually everything an artist, decorator, or hobbyist needs.

Michaels also operates a frame-making division; more than 135 Aaron
Brothers stores, mostly on the West Coast, that provide framing and art
supplies; a wholesale business; and a Web site that offers arts,
crafts, and decorating tips, as well as selling arts and crafts
supplies, prints, and posters online.


MOTORCAR PARTS: Former CFO Pleads Guilty to Lying to Investors
--------------------------------------------------------------
Prosecutors said recently that the former chief financial officer of
Motorcar Parts & Accessories Inc. will plead guilty to charges that he
lied to investors, forcing the Company to restate earnings for 1997 and
1998, Associated Press Newswires reported.  The Company settled a
class-action lawsuit brought by it's investors for $7.5 million.

Peter Bromberg, 38, of Wellington, Florida, has admitted committing
financial fraud by falsifying Motorcar's books and records.  Mr.
Bromberg, who was Motorcar Parts CFO from 1994, until he resigned in
May 1999, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a
potential $1 million fine.  His arraignment on two felony counts of
making false statements to investors is scheduled for September 30.

Motorcar Parts, a rebuilder of starters and alternators, inflated its
earnings by nearly $3.4 million, or 60 percent, in 1997; and by almost
$3.6 million, or 50 percent, in 1998.  The falsified statements were
included in a registration statement filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) for a public offering that raised $19.8
million.

The SEC has filed criminal and civil charges against Mr. Bromberg and
Motorcar Parts for deceiving investors and lying to auditors.

The SEC is focusing on how Motorcar Parts accounted for and credited
customers for returned parts.  The complaint alleges that Mr. Bromberg
shipped returns to an offsite storage facility to deceive auditors and
delayed processing customer credits for returned goods in an effort to
inflate the company's earnings.

The SEC's civil complaint alleges that in April 1999, Mr. Bromberg
improperly reversed $544,000 of accounts payable that Motorcar Parts
had properly recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 1998, in order to
enhance the company's earnings.  The company did not issue any
financial statements that included these improperly reversed amounts.

The SEC is seeking an order that would bar Mr. Bromberg from serving as
a corporate officer or director and also is requiring that Mr. Bromberg
return any ill-gotten gains with interest and pay a fine.


NCI BUILDING: Says Pending Securities Suits Won't Have Material Effects
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
As a result of the Company's restatement of its financial results for
the last half of fiscal 1999, all of fiscal 2000 and the first quarter
of fiscal 2001, several class action lawsuits were filed against NCI
Building Systems, Inc. and certain of its current officers in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of Texas, commencing in April
2001.

The plaintiffs in the actions purport to represent purchasers of NCI
common stock during various periods ranging from August 25, 1999
through April 12, 2001.  The lawsuits were consolidated into one class
action lawsuit on August 16, 2001.

On January 10, 2002, the court appointed lead plaintiffs for the
consolidated lawsuit. The lead plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended
complaint on February 1, 2002. In the consolidated complaint the
plaintiffs allege, among other things, that during the financial
periods that were restated the Company made materially false and
misleading statements about the status and effectiveness of a
management information and accounting system used by its components
division and costs associated with that system, failed to assure that
the system maintained books and records accurately reflecting inventory
levels and costs of goods sold, failed to maintain internal controls on
manual accounting entries made to certain inventory-related accounts in
an effort to correct the data in the system, otherwise engaged in
improper accounting practices that overstated earnings, and issued
materially false and misleading financial statements.

The plaintiffs further allege that the individual defendants traded in
NCI's common stock while in possession of material, non-public
information regarding the foregoing. The plaintiffs in the consolidated
complaint assert various claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and seek unspecified amounts of
compensatory damages, interest and costs, including legal fees.

On March 15, 2002, the Company filed its Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs'
Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint and Memorandum in Support.
The Motion to Dismiss is currently pending before the court.

NCI and the individual defendants deny the allegations in the complaint
and intend to defend against them vigorously. The consolidated lawsuit
is at a very early stage. Consequently, at this time the Company is not
able to predict whether it will incur any liability in excess of
insurance coverage or to estimate the damages, or the range of damages,
if any, that the Company might incur in connection with the lawsuit, or
whether an adverse outcome could have a material adverse impact on its
business, consolidated financial condition or results of operations.

"The Company believes that these legal proceedings will not have a
material adverse effect on its business, consolidated financial
condition or results of operations," a recent SEC disclosure said.

NCI makes engineered metal building systems and metal building
components such as overhead doors, roofs, and trim, which it designs
for commercial, industrial, agricultural, civic, and residential uses.
The company's engineered building systems products include brands A&S
Building Systems and Mid-West Steel Buildings; its brands of metal-
building components include DOUBLECOTE and Metal Prep.  NCI also
provides metal-coating and paint products.  It operates about 34
manufacturing and distribution facilities in 15 states in the US and in
Mexico.


NIKON INC.: Recalls 9,100 Coolpix 2000-Model Digital Cameras
------------------------------------------------------------
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC),
Nikon Inc., of Melville, N.Y., is voluntarily recalling about 9,100
Coolpix 2000-model digital cameras imported into the United States.  A
short circuit can occur in the battery compartment, creating a possible
thermal burn hazard to consumers if the battery compartment lid is
touched.
        
Nikon has received 14 reports of these cameras shorting, but none
occurred in the United States.  No injuries have been reported.  Minor
heat damage to the battery compartment has been reported.
        
The recall includes the Nikon Coolpix 2000-model digital cameras with
serial numbers 3010001 to 3060980 and 3510001 to 3561916.  The brand
name and model number are located on the front of the camera, and the
serial number is on the bottom of the camera.  The camera is mostly
silver-colored with lavender around the lens.
        
Department, electronic, computer and camera stores, as well as mail-
order and Web retailers sold these cameras nationwide from July 30,
2002 through August 2002 for about $250.
        
Consumers with a recalled Nikon Coolpix 2000 camera should immediately
remove the batteries and contact Nikon to receive a free replacement
Coolpix 2000 digital camera.  For more information, contact Nikon at
800-645-6687 between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or go
to Nikon's web site at www.nikonusa.com
        
No other Nikon products are involved in this recall.

To see a picture of the recalled product(s), click on this link:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml02/02253.html


OHIO: Families Sue State for Defective Child Support System
-----------------------------------------------------------
A group of families collecting child support recently brought a class-
action lawsuit against the state of Ohio, saying it has failed to
provide Ohio residents with an adequate child support enforcement
system, according to a report by the Associated Press Newswires.

The Equal Justice Foundation, a nonprofit organization that files
lawsuits on behalf of disadvantaged Ohio residents, sued the Ohio
Department of Job and Family services in the Ohio Court of Claims.  The
Department has denied wrongdoing and said it would fight the lawsuit.

Six families, listed as plaintiffs, say that they and tens of thousands
of other in Ohio have suffered "substantial financial injuries" because
they have not received child support services that the state by law is
mandated to provide.  The families do not ask for specific damages.

"The system is broken and the children are owed this money," said Judy
Goldstein, an attorney with the Equal Justice Foundation.  "As much as
we would like to see our clients get money for what they have lost,
ultimately, what we do hope for is that there will be a system
overhaul.

Ms. Goldstein says she receives complaints daily about the state's
child support system, the main problem usually being that the
Department is not ensuring that county child support enforcement
agencies enforce orders that parents must pay child support.

Other problems abound as well.  For example, last year, Governor Robert
Taft ordered counties to return overdue child support payments and
income tax refunds that the state had admitted it improperly kept from
former welfare recipients as reimbursements for aid they received.  The
amount owed is considerable:  the state so far has sent out 28,113
refund checks worth about $6.4 million.

"The frustration is," said Thomas Hayes, director of the Job and Family
Services Department, "that they [the family member of each child in the
system] can paper the courthouse walls with lawsuits, and we have to
deal with them."

"We will vigorously defend ourselves, but what they are representing is
dramatically different from reality," he said.

Mr. Hayes said that 99.7 percent of all checks the state receives are
being sent to families within 48 hours of the state obtaining the
money.  The remaining payments are held up because they are missing
information, such as Social Security numbers or names, and the
Department must match the payment to the recipient.


QUALITY NATURAL: Recalls Product Containing Undeclared Peanut Protein
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The public warning issued on September 13, 2002 has been expanded to
include additional information on product distribution.  The Canadian
Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Quality Natural Foods Ltd. are
warning consumers with allergies to peanut protein not to consume
Quality Brand Rajgira Laddu and Rajgira Chikki. These products may
contain peanut protein that is not declared on the label.  This alert
is of concern to those individuals with allergies to peanut protein.

The affected products, Quality brand Rajgira Laddu and Rajgira Chikki
are sold in 100 g packages. These products are imported from India.

The importer, Quality Natural Foods Ltd., Scarborough, Ontario is
voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace. These
products have been distributed in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

Consumption of these products may cause a serious or life-threatening
reaction in persons with allergies to peanut protein. There have been
no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these
products.

The previous Allergy Alert can be viewed at:
http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/2002/20020913e.sh
tml

The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

For more information, please contact consumers and industry can call
the CFIA at one of the following numbers:

In the province of Quebec 1-800-561-3350; or in other provinces and
territories 1-800-442-2342. - 8:00 am to 4:00 pm local time - Monday to
Friday.

For information on receiving recalls by electronic mail, or for other
food safety facts, visit http://www.inspection.gc.ca

For media enquiries, contact: Michael Hiscock (English), Canadian Food
Inspection Agency Office of Food Safety and Recall, by Phone:
613-760-4044


ROCK HILL: More Stockholders File Lawsuit Against Troubled Bank
---------------------------------------------------------------
Additional stockholders have sued a Rock Hill bank facing problems over
bank fraud, the Associated Press Newswires reported recently.

Six shareholders who own a combined 35,428 shares filed their lawsuit
recently in York County, South Carolina.  The shareholders want the
lawsuit to be certified as a class action for any shareholder who will
lose more than $100 following the firing of bank President Robert
Heeron, who was fired July 3, 2002.

A Lesslie man filed a similar suit last week for stockholders who own
at least 100 shares.

Mr. Herron and two other men have been charged by a federal grand jury
with 12 counts of bank fraud on loans totaling $1.02 million.

The lawsuit has been filed against Rock Hill Bank & Trust, eight board
members and the bank's accounting firm, Tourville Simpson & Caskey of
Columbia.  The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are:

     (i) Oliver G. Wood Jr., of Richland County;
    (ii) W&B Inc., in Orangeburg;
   (iii) Woodward W. Watford Sr., of Orangeburg;
    (iv) Woodward W. Watford Jr., of Orangeburg;
     (v) Claude T. Sullivan, of Atlanta; and
    (vi) Haberman Value Fund


TRANS WORLD: Settles Antitrust Lawsuits Without Admitting Wrongdoing
--------------------------------------------------------------------
On August 8, 2000, 30 Attorneys General served a complaint against
Trans World Entertainment Corporation, five major music distributors
and two other specialty retailers in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York (AG's suit).

The complaint was subsequently amended to add additional states as
plaintiffs and to reflect the transfer of the case to the United States
District Court in Maine pursuant to the Multidistrict Litigation Rules.
The AG's suit alleged that the distributors and retailers conspired to
violate certain anti-trust laws and to fix prices by requiring
retailers to adhere to minimum advertised prices in order to receive
cooperative advertising funds from the distributors. The complaint
alleged that consumers were damaged in an unspecified amount and sought
treble damages and civil penalties.

Following the service of the AG's suit, these same defendants were
named as defendants in private class action suits (Class Actions), each
with similar allegations as in the AG's suit.  The Class Actions were
consolidated along with the AG's suit in the United States District
Court in Maine.  

The Company believes the lawsuits are without merit and presented its
case at a settlement hearing held on April 30, 2002. In order to avoid
lengthy and costly litigation, the Company tentatively settled with the
plaintiffs without admission of wrongdoing, and accordingly, recorded a
reserve in the quarter ended August 3, 2002.

Trans World Entertainment sells CDs, DVDs, cassettes, videos, and
related items through nearly 1,000 stores (about 75% of them in malls)
in 46 states.  Its music chains include Camelot Music, Record Town,
Coconuts, Strawberries, and Spec's Music. Its video stores include
Saturday Matinee and Movies Plus.  In its effort to create a unified
brand, Trans World has combined the majority of its mall-based stores
under the F.Y.E. brand and offers merchandise online through fye.com
Founder Bob Higgins and his family own 30% of Trans World
Entertainment.


VISA/MASTERCARD: Retailers' Debit Card Lawsuit Set for Trial Next Year
----------------------------------------------------------------------
After fighting legal obstacles for years, major retailers, including
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., are moving forward with their class-action
lawsuit, accusing Visa U.S.A. Inc. and MasterCard International Inc. of
illegally monopolizing the debit-card business, the St. Louis
Post-Dispatch has reported recently.  Trial is scheduled to begin April
28, 2003.

The retailers said last week that they have begun notifying more than
7.6 million other businesses about the lawsuit filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of New York in 1996.

The retailers charge Visa and MasterCard with illegally blocking other
financial companies from gaining entry into the debit-card business.
The merchants also have challenged the defendants' "honor all cards
policy" which requires that if a merchant accepts any Visa or
MasterCard, the merchant has to accept all cards, including debit
cards.  Such a tie-in, say the merchants is a violation of the federal
antitrust laws.

The merchants further allege that they have been forced to pay
unlawfully high prices for debit and credit transactions as a result of
the alleged tying and monopolization practices.

More than 8,000 financial institutions in the United States issue debit
cards with the Visa or MasterCard brand.

Visa and MasterCard have denied the retailers' allegations.  Other
plaintiff retailers in the lawsuit include The Limited, Inc.; Sears,
Roebuck and Co.; Circuit City and the National Retail Federation.

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS: Wechsler Harwood Files Suit in C.D. California
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Wechsler Harwood Halebian & Feffer LLP announced late
last week that a class action has been commenced in the United States
District Court for the Central District of California on behalf all
persons who purchased or acquired Charter Communications, Inc.
(Nasdaq:CHTR) securities between November 9, 1999 through July 17,
2002, inclusive against defendants Charter and certain of its officers.

The complaint asserts claims for violation of Section 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 against Charter
Communications, as well as its Chief Executive and Chief Financial
Officers. The alleged violations, according to the complaint, stem from
materially false and misleading statements made by the defendants
during the Class Period that, as detailed below: (i) materially
misrepresented Charter Communications' financial performance; thereby
(ii) causing Charter Communications securities to trade at
artificially-inflated prices.

The complaint alleges that defendants:

     (i) overstated Charter's revenue;

    (ii) failed to account appropriately for installation costs; and

   (iii) artificially inflated the reported number of subscribers for
         the Company's basic cable services. On July 18, 2002, when a
         Merrill Lynch analyst expressed concerns about potentially
         misleading accounting practices, Charter's stock fell more
         than 13%.

A subsequent article in Forbes discusses a Credit Suisse First Boston
report that further amplifies these concerns and describes how Charter
handles the impact of "churn" -- labor and advertising costs -- on the
Company's balance sheet, by improperly capitalizing approximately 30%
of its installation labor costs over an extended time period.

For more details, contact Wechsler Harwood Halebian & Feffer LLP by
Mail: 488 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, New York 10022 by Phone:
877-935-7400 (toll free) or e-mail Craig Lowther, Wechsler Harwood
Shareholder Relations Department: clowther@whhf.com


EXODUS COMMUNICATIONS: Emerson Firm Brings Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Emerson Firm, a securities class action trial law firm, announced
late last week that a class action has been filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of
purchasers of Exodus Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:EXDS) common stock
during the period between December 8, 1999 and June 19, 2001,
inclusive.

The complaint alleges that Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. and Henry Blodget
urged investors to purchase Exodus stock when defendants knew or
recklessly disregarded that such purchases were not a good investment.
The complaint alleges that defendants: issued "Buy" recommendations
about Exodus without any rational economic basis; failed to disclose
that they were issuing "Buy" recommendations to obtain investment
banking business; and concealed significant, material conflicts of
interest that prevented them from providing independent objective
analysis. Between March 24, 2000 and September 26, 2001, Exodus stock
dropped from approximately $173.32 per share to less than $1 dollar per
share. During this time period, Merrill Lynch repeatedly reiterated its
Near-Term Buy/Long-Term Buy recommendation. After the Nasdaq suspended
trading in Exodus common stock on April 26, 2001, Exodus voluntarily
de-listed from Nasdaq and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy shortly
thereafter. Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all those
who purchased or otherwise acquired Exodus common stock during the
Class Period.

For more details, contact THE EMERSON FIRM through its Investor
Relations Department: Ms. Tanya Autry by Mail: 830 Apollo Lane,
Houston, Texas 77058 by Phone: 800-663-9817 (toll free) or by e-mail:
tanya.autry@worldnet.att.net


GLAXOSMITHKLINE: Goodkind Labaton Begins Antitrust Lawsuit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP (GLRS) filed Thursday last week
a class action lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, (NYSE: GSK) charging
the drug manufacturer is illegally maintaining a monopoly over the
antibiotic Augmentin. GLRS is representing New York State's largest
union, New York State United Teachers which represents some 480,000
classroom teachers, other school employees and retirees; academic and
professional faculty at the state's community colleges, State
University of New York; and other education and health officials, and
its largest local union, the 130,000-member United Federation of
Teachers Welfare Fund in New York City, in the class action suit. NYSUT
is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO.

Barbara Hart, a partner at GLRS, in describing some of
GlaxoSmithKline's conduct pointed out that, "GlaxoSmithKline has gone
so far as to try to assert patent protection over their version of the
drug touting the fact that they put it in a bottle with a cap and a
desiccant. That's been the state of the art since 1974, certainly not a
patentable new utility. Even shoe manufacturers know a lid and a
desiccant keep shoes fresh."

New York State United Teachers Executive Vice President Alan B. Lubin,
chairman of the New York State AFL-CIO Prescription Drug Task Force,
said, "The suit is part of NYSUT's three-pronged approach to attacking
the high cost of prescription drugs in New York State."

"In addition to legal action, NYSUT is lobbying lawmakers to pass
legislation to put a cap on prescription drug costs," Lubin said.
"We're also pushing the state for new regulations to limit drug
advertising, which encourages some people to seek out prescription
drugs that they don't really need."

The suit, filed in the Southern District, U.S. District Court in New
York, alleges that GlaxoSmithKline has engaged in unjust practices to
suppress competition from generic alternatives to Augmentin, which
could be offered to consumers at lower cost. The suit seeks monetary
damages and injunctive relief under federal and state antitrust and
related laws.

"Parents of children who need this medication should have it at the
lowest cost possible," Lubin said. He went on to add that "the
shamefully high cost of prescription drugs in our state is forcing New
Yorkers into an intolerable position. Some parents are being forced to
decide between buying clothes to keep their children warm and buying
prescription drugs to keep their children healthy. There are senior
citizens who are choosing between paying for heat or paying for their
medication. This is a tragedy. Working families are paying the price
for the pharmaceutical companies' greed."

The AFL-CIO Prescription Drug Task Force is sponsoring a series of
meetings across the state to help bring attention to the prescription
drug crisis. The first public meeting, co-sponsored by NYSUT, was held
in Albany in late June, where Ms. Hart was an invited speaker. Future
meetings are planned for Rochester, Buffalo and New York City. GLRS and
various AFL-CIO affiliates are also pursuing claims where brand-name
manufacturers are allegedly colluding.

Ms. Hart and the GLRS Antitrust Litigation team recently won
settlements in the In Re Warfarin Sodium Antitrust Litigation against
DuPont Pharmaceuticals. The class was awarded a $44.5 million
settlement. In the In re: Lorazepam and Clorazepate Antitrust
Litigation, against Mylan Laboratories, Inc., Mylan Pharmaceuticals,
Inc. (together Mylan), Cambrex Corporation, Profarmaco S.r.l. and Gyma
Laboratories of America, Inc. In these cases two settlement funds
totaling $10.1 and $25.3 million were created. In addition, GLRS was
co-lead counsel in related antitrust litigation on behalf of consumers
brought in conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission and the
attorneys general of thirty-two states. This litigation was also
settled at the same time, with Mylan paying $100 million which will be
used to reimburse consumers and state agencies in all fifty states and
the District of Columbia for a portion of any overcharge they may have
incurred when purchasing either or both drugs. The total amount of the
settlements including lawyers' fees totaled $147 million. In approving
the Mylan settlements, Judge Hogan complimented the efforts of GLRS
recognizing them as " ... experienced antitrust litigators" and
commenting positively about their efforts in a " ... lengthy and
complex antitrust case, involving multiple jurisdictions, extensive
investigation and discovery, coordination, and negotiations."

For more details, contact Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP
through Barbara Hart by Phone: 212-907-0862 by e-mail:
bhart@glrslaw.com or visit the firm's Web site: http://www.glrslaw.com


HEALTSOUTH CORPORATION: Emerson Firm Lodges Lawsuit in N.D. Alabama
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Emerson Firm, a securities class action trial law firm, late last
week that a class action has been filed in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division, on
behalf of purchasers of HealthSouth Corporation (NYSE:HRC) publicly
traded securities during the period between January 14, 2002 and August
26, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that HealthSouth's Chief Executive Officer
admitted that HealthSouth knew of problems with its Medicare billing
practices as early as June 6, 2002, two full months before the date the
Company previously disclosed. A copy of the complaint filed in this
action is available from the Court or can be obtained from the Firm's
Investor Relations Department by making a toll free call.

The complaint alleges widespread securities fraud and charges that
defendants HealthSouth, Richard M. Scrushy (CEO, Chairman), Weston L.
Smith (CFO, Executive VP), William Owens (Chief Operating Officer) and
George Strong (director) violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder,
by issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements to
the market between January 14, 2002 and August 27, 2002.

According to the complaint, throughout the Class Period, HealthSouth
issued press releases and filed reports with the SEC announcing
impressive revenue and earnings growth and repeatedly assuring the
market that the Company was well on its way to meeting its financial
targets for the year 2002 and that its fundamentals were strong.
According to the complaint, on August 27, 2002, HealthSouth shocked the
market by issuing a press release announcing that CMS directives issued
on July 1, 2002 concerning reimbursements may result in a $175 million
shortfall in EBITDA from previously issued financial guidance for 2002
and that it could not provide further guidance for 2002 and 2003
because of uncertainties posed by the directives.

In addition, the Company announced that it would spin-off its surgery-
center division as part of a massive restructuring undertaken to deal
with the developments and that defendant Scrushy would be replaced as
CEO by defendant Owens. In response to this disclosure, HealthSouth
stock plummeted by over 43% to close at $6.71 per share in a single day
on extremely high trading volume.

The Complaint further alleges that defendants failed to disclose the
facts concerning the CMS directives and EBITDA shortfalls, which had
been known to them for many months, in order to allow defendants
Scrushy and Strong to sell (collectively) millions of shares of the
Company's stock at artificially inflated prices and so that the Company
could commence a $998 million note exchange/offer on more favorable
terms than if the truth regarding the CMS directives and their impact
on the Company was known publicly.

On August 27, 2002, when HealthSouth announced that certain Medicare
"billing changes" would cause HealthSouth's earnings to fall well below
guidance, defendant Scrushy claimed that the full impact of this "new"
information was only learned by HealthSouth on August 15, 2002, which
explained why HealthSouth did not disclose the information to
HealthSouth investors earlier.

These statements were false as William Owens, HealthSouth's Chief
Executive Officer, has now admitted that HealthSouth knew of a
potential problem by at least June 6, 2002, and defendant George Strong
sold nearly $2 million worth of HealthSouth stock between June 7- 11,
2002. HealthSouth and Scrushy's assertion that they disclosed this
adverse information timely is further undermined by the fact that the
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) have stated that the "new"
information "identified" by HealthSouth and Scrushy was not "new"
information at all, but a mere clarification of existing policy.

Moreover, CMS had never permitted healthcare providers to seek payment
for individual services when such services were, in fact, provided not
to an individual but to a group of individuals, and HealthSouth was
seeking such improper reimbursement nonetheless. Investors lost
millions while defendant Scrushy sold over $50 million worth of
HealthSouth stock at artificially inflated prices before the collapse.

For more information, contact THE EMERSON FIRM through its Investor
Relations Department: Ms. Tanya R. Autry by Mail: 830 Apollo Lane,
Houston, Texas 77058 by Phone: 800-663-9817 (toll free) or by e-mail:
tanya.autry@worldnet.att.net


INKTOMI CORPORATION: Cauley Geller Commences Lawsuit in S.D. New York
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Firm of Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP filed late last week
a class action in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York on behalf of purchasers of Inktomi Corporation
(Nasdaq: INKT) publicly traded securities during the period between
June 10, 1998 and April 3, 2001, inclusive.

The complaint charges Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., Morgan Stanley Dean
Witter & Co., Inc., Henry Blodget and Mary Meeker with issuing
misleading analyst reports about Inktomi.  Specifically, the complaint
alleges that Defendants urged investors to purchase Inktomi stock when
defendants knew or should have known that such purchases were not a
good investment. The complaint alleges that defendants issued "Buy"
recommendations about Inktomi without any rational economic basis;
failed to disclose that they were issuing "Buy" recommendations to
obtain investment banking business; and concealed significant, material
conflicts of interests that prevented them from providing independent
objective analysis.

For additional information, contact CAULEY GELLER BOWMAN & COATES, LLP
through its Client Relations Department: Jackie Addison, Sue Null or
Ellie Baker by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR 72221-5438 by
Phone: 888-551-9944 (toll free) or by e-mail: info@cauleygeller.com


INTERPUBLIC GROUP: Rabin & Peckel Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action complaint has been filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York, on behalf of all persons
or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired securities of The
Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG) between October 28, 1997 and
August 13, 2002, both dates inclusive.  The Interpublic Group of
Companies, Inc., John J. Dooner, Jr., Philip H. Greier, Sean F. Orr,
Frederick Molz, Eugene P. Beard, Richard P. Sneeder, Jr., David I.C.
Weatherseed, and Joseph M. Studley are named as defendants in the
complaint.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing a series of materially false
and misleading statements and omitting to disclose material adverse
information about the Company's operations and prospects during the
Class Period. Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants
issued numerous statements and filed quarterly and annual reports with
the SEC, which described the Company's increasing net income and
financial performance. These statements were materially false and
misleading because they failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the
following adverse facts, among others:

     (i) that, throughout the Class Period, the Company was overstating
         its net income by failing to expense certain charges which
         should have been expensed;

    (ii) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls and was
         therefore unable to ascertain the true financial condition of
         the Company; and

   (iii) that as a result, the value of the Company's net income and
         financial results were materially overstated at all relevant
         times.

On August 13, 2002, the Company announced, among other things, that it
had "identified $68.5 million of charges, principally in Europe, which
had not been properly expensed," which will cause the company to
restate its previously issued financial statements going back to 1997
and prior. During the Class Period, defendants and other insider sold
almost $100 million of Interpublic stock.

For more information, contact Rabin & Peckel LLP through Eric J. Belfi
or Sharon Lee by Phone: (800) 497-8076, (212) 682-1818 by Fax: (212)
682-1892 or by e-mail@rabinlaw.com


INTERPUBLIC GROUP: Marc S. Henzel Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court,
Southern District of New York on behalf of purchasers of the securities
of The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (NYSE:IPG) between October
28, 1997 and August 13, 2002, inclusive.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the
market between October 28, 1997 and August 13, 2002, thereby
artificially inflating the price of Interpublic securities. Throughout
the Class Period, as alleged in the complaint, defendants issued
numerous statements and filed quarterly and annual reports with the
SEC, which described the Company's increasing net income and financial
performance.

As alleged in the complaint, these statements were materially false and
misleading because they failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the
following adverse facts, among others:

     (i) that, throughout the Class Period, the Company was overstating
         its net income by failing to expense certain charges which
         should have been expensed;

    (ii) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls and was
         therefore unable to ascertain the true financial condition of
         the Company; and

   (iii) that as a result, the value of the Company's net income and
         financial results were materially overstated at all relevant
         times.

On August 5, 2002, Interpublic announced that it would be rescheduling
the release of its second quarter 2002 earnings "to accommodate the
Audit Committee of its Board of Directors," which was interpreted by
the market to potentially involve the Company's accounting. In response
to the uncertainty surrounding defendants' announcement, investors sold
off shares of Interpublic, which dropped $4.69 per share, or 23.8%, to
close at $14.99 per share.

On August 13, 2002, the last day of the Class Period, the nature of the
Company's delay of its second quarter 2002 earnings release became
evident when the Company announced, among other things, that it had
"identified $68.5 million of charges, principally in Europe, which had
not been properly expensed," which will cause the company to restate
its previously issued financial statements going back to 1997 and
prior.

For additional information, contact The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel
through Bala Cynwyd by Phone: 888-643-6735 or 610-660-8000


MORGAN STANLEY: Emerson Firm Commences Securities Suit in S.D. New York
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Emerson Firm, a securities class action trial law firm, announced
late last week that a class action has been filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of all
purchasers of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Technology Fund shares, of all
four share classes (Nasdaq:TEKAX) (Nasdaq:TEKBX) (Nasdaq:TEKCX)
(Nasdaq:TEKDX) from the public offering for the Fund on September 25,
2000 through July 31, 2002, inclusive (the Class Period) against Morgan
Stanley Dean Witter & Co. (MSDW), Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Technology
Fund (the Fund) and others for violations of Sections 11, 12 and 15 of
the Securities Act of 1933 and of other federal statutory law.  The
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Technology Fund recently changed its name to
the Morgan Stanley Technology Fund.

The defendants are: (1) the underwriters for the common stock of
certain of the companies in the Technology Fund's portfolio; (2) the
investment bankers and corporate finance specialists for certain of the
companies whose securities in the Fund's portfolio; (3) seeking to
obtain additional investment banking business from these present and
former clients and from other companies whose shares also were/are in
the Fund's portfolio; (4) the issuers of the shares in the Fund; (5)
preparing and publicly disseminating research reports and
recommendations on many of the companies whose shares were in the
Fund's portfolio; and (6) the broker for certain members of the Class.

This action arises as a result of the issuance by the defendants of
shares in the Fund, and concerns material misstatements and omissions
by defendants in the Prospectus, relating to defendants' conflicts of
interest, which include but are not limited to the following:

     (i) defendants failed to disclose and omitted material information
         that MSDW had had investment banking relationships with,
         including having brought public, certain of the companies
         whose securities were part of the Fund's portfolio. Defendants
         disclosed neither this general fact nor the identities of the
         particular companies with which it had investment banking
         relationships;

    (ii) defendants failed to disclose and omitted material information
         concerning that MSDW was continuing to seek investment banking
         relationships with many of the companies whose securities were
         part of the Fund's portfolio; and

   (iii) defendants failed to disclose and omitted material information
         concerning that a material part of the total compensation paid
         to MSDW research analysts was based upon obtaining investment
         banking business for MSDW and not upon the accuracy of their
         research about a given company. Hence, MSDW and its affiliated
         companies including the Fund recommended investments in and/or
         invested in companies in order to enhance MSDW's opportunity
         to obtain investment banking business from those companies
         (without regard to whether they were good investments for the
         investors including plaintiffs and the Class).

For more information, contact Investor Relations Department: Ms. Tanya
R. Autry by Mail: 830 Apollo Lane, Houston, Texas 77058 by Phone:
800-663-9817 (toll free) or by e-mail: tanya.autry@worldnet.att.net


WALT DISNEY: Shapiro Haber Commences Securities Suit in C.D. California
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Boston law firm of Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP has filed a class
action suit alleging securities fraud against the Walt Disney Company
(NYSE:DIS) and certain of its officers and directors in the United
States District Court for the Central District of California, Western
Division.

The case was filed on behalf of all persons who purchased Disney common
stock during the period August 15, 1997 through May 15, 2002,
inclusive.

The Complaint charges defendants with violations of federal securities
laws. Among other things, plaintiff claims that during the Class
Period, defendants failed to disclose the material facts concerning the
existence, details, and potential effects of a pending lawsuit over
merchandising rights concerning "Winnie the Pooh." Those effects
include Disney's potential payout of hundreds of millions of dollars in
royalties as well as the much more serious threat of possible
termination of the Company's merchandising agreement for Pooh products
which represents several billion dollars a year in revenue. On May 15,
2002, defendants belatedly disclosed the amount of the claims involved
and the potential fallout from the litigation. As various media sources
gradually reported this news, Disney's stock price fell, declining 28%
in the two months after the disclosure.

For additional information, contact Ted Hess-Mahan, Esq. or Liz Hutton,
paralegal by Mail: 75 State Street, Boston, MA 02109 by Phone:
800-287-8119 by Fax: 617-439-0134 or by e-mail: cases@shulaw.com


XCEL ENERGY: Kaplan Fox Commences Securities Fraud Suit in Minnesota
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaplan Fox has filed a class action suit against Xcel Energy, Inc.
(NYSE:XEL) and certain of its officers and directors, in the United
States District Court for the District of Minnesota. This suit is
brought on behalf of all persons and entities who purchased or
otherwise acquired Xcel securities between January 31, 2001 and July
26, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that Xcel and certain of its officers and
directors violated the federal securities laws by issuing a series of
materially false and misleading statements regarding Xcel's financial
performance and the financial performance of NRG, the Company's
majority-owned subsidiary. The complaint further alleges that during
the Class Period defendants failed to disclose that Xcel Participated
in so called "round-trip" transactions which lacked economic substance,
had the effect of artificially inflating Xcel's reported financial
results, and also exposed Xcel to massive legal liability.

As a result of defendants' failure to disclose Xcel's improper "round-
trip" transactions, Xcel's stock price was artificially inflated during
the Class Period, trading as high as $31.00. On July 29, 2002, Xcel
stock fell to $5.66 on trading of more than 17 million shares.

For more information, contact Frederic S. Fox, Esq., Joel B Strauss,
Esq. or Donald R. Hall, Esq. by Mail: 805 Third Avenue, 22nd Floor, New
York, NY 10022 by Phone: 800-290-1952 or 212-687-1980 by Fax:
212-687-7714 or by e-mail: mail@kaplanfox.com


                              *********

S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Trenton, New Jersey, and
Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.  Enid Sterling, Aurora Fatima
Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick, Editors.

Copyright 2002.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic re-
mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior written
permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be
reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via e-mail.  
Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same firm for the
term of the initial subscription or balance thereof are $25 each.  For
subscription information, contact Christopher Beard at 240/629-3300.

                  * * *  End of Transmission  * * *