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Anti-Tobacco Inc. [BREATHE]
This penny stock soared when a Multnomah County jury slapped Philip Morris with a stunning $150 million in damages for the death of a Salem woman who smoked Merits. The victory exposes another chink in tobacco companies' armor--"light" cigarettes are just as deadly as full-strength smokes.
Oregon Ducks & Co. [QUAK]
After a season of exceeding all market expectations, the University of Oregon men's basketball team made it all the way to the NCAA's Elite Eight before receiving an old-fashioned whupping at the hands of the Kansas Jayhawks. Despite the loss, Duck investors are smiling after UO's football and hoops teams turned in some of the most exciting play in the university's history.
Klamath Farmers & Co. [SODBUSTR]
Shareprices for SODBUSTR and its subsidiary, Suckerfish Ltd., slipped on revelations that utility giant PacifiCorp is fighting the feds over a requirement for fish screens at the company's Klamath River Basin power plants, which inhale 82,000 suckers a year. If PacifiCorp wins, the feds will be more likely to clamp down on the water that farmers can draw from the Klamath--setting the stage for a replay of last summer's showdown.
Oregon Taxpayers [BLANKCHK]
Disaster looms for this thinly capitalized stock as the market staggers under one of Salem's biggest financial boondoggles: a moronic guarantee that public employees who joined PERS before 1996 will always enjoy at least 8 percent return on their pensions--even when the (real) stock market goes down. This legacy cost PERS nearly $5 billion last year and is likely to drain billions more from the state's coffers before the Legislature has the guts to fix it.
K-12 Students & Co. [SKOOLKDS]
Last week, Portland schoolkids saw their budget shrink by $36 million, their custodians laid off, their school year chopped by nine days and popular programs axed. Then the state Board of Education ratcheted up Oregon's graduation requirements for the first time in nearly 20 years, requiring kids to show they've got work experience and--gulp--career plans before they leave high school. Hey, kids, forget about graduating! You don't need no education to be an Oregon state legislator !
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