State Briefs 10/07/08

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Bankrupt company’s execs sued over alleged mismanagement of pensions

ROCKFORD – Two former employees of Rockford Products Corp. are suing the bankrupt company’s former executives over what they say is a mismanagement of the pension fund.

Employees at the fastener company were given the option of investing their pension dollars in Rockford Products stock or a general fund, which was believed to be invested in other sources, according to the suit filed Oct. 1 in federal court. Instead, company officials bought Rockford Products stock with money invested in the general fund and without telling employees.

Participants in the pension plan were “forced or intimidated” to invest in the Rockford Products stock fund, were not permitted to move their funds into other options and weren’t provided sufficient information to make an informed choice among the investment options.

As a result, former employees John Waller and Richard Edwards say, the company’s pension fund lost millions of dollars after the company declared bankruptcy in August 2007.

Waller and Edwards are asking that the suit be classified as class-action so it will encompass the hundreds of other employees who were invested in the pension fund.

The suit names Ray Wood, former chief executive officer; Douglas Wells, former chief financial officer; and David Peterson, former president of the cold formed division, as defendants. It also names the pension and employee stock ownership plan committees and AMCORE Investment Group, a trustee for the pension and stock plans.

Rockford Register Star

Towels catch fire, damage hotel

EAST PEORIA – Towels in a bin caught fire early Monday at Embassy Suites, causing an estimated $5,000 damage, a fire official said.

About 1:25 a.m., firefighters were called to the hotel to investigate a smoke alarm.

Hotel security located and extinguished the fire in the kitchen before firefighters arrived, but not before smoke spread throughout the room, East Peoria Assistant Fire Chief John Knapp said.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation. Authorities planned to talk to hotel employees Monday night.

Personnel from the Tazewell County Health Department were called to the hotel to inspect the kitchen as some food items had to be thrown out because of their exposure to smoke.

Journal Star, Peoria

Elderly couple beaten, robbed

SPRINGFIELD – An elderly couple was beaten and robbed of cash and jewelry after a burglar broke into their home through a basement window Sunday morning.

The husband, 85, was taken by ambulance to the emergency room at Memorial Medical Center, where he was treated for a large cut on his forehead. The wife, 79, declined to be taken to the hospital but had suffered a bloody nose and bruised eye.

The attack happened about 7:45 a.m. at the couple’s home.

The wife told police her husband took their dog for a walk and returned home. They were sitting in the living room and heard a noise coming from the basement. The woman went to the kitchen and stood at the top of the basement stairs, then asked who was down there.

At that point, a man rushed up the stairs toward her and demanded to know where her purse was. He knocked her to the floor, punched her and choked her while holding her down. While the man was attacking the wife, the husband walked into the room, saw what was happening, picked up a radio and threw it at the intruder. The intruder got up and punched the man in the face, knocking him to the floor.

After robbing the couple, the intruder struck them again before running out the back door.

State Journal-Register

Man wielding cleaver arrested after argument

SPRINGFIELD – Two men — one armed with a meat cleaver — were arrested after arguing in a yard Monday morning.

Earl L. Anderson, 49, and Joseph A. Perry, 28, were involved in a heated argument that lasted from about 8:35 until 10 a.m., according to Springfield police. Anderson allegedly wielded a meat cleaver during the argument, but the weapon was not used in a physical attack.

Perry later was arrested for an active warrant, police said.

State Journal-Register