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Woodburn mall expansion

will spawn 200 new jobs

A 22-store expansion of the Woodburn Company Stores shopping mall, 30 miles south of Portland, will create 200 jobs when the stores open in November. Construction of the 66,500-square-foot expansion, which began last month, already has put 200 people to work, said Michelle Daily, Company Stores marketing director.

The mall's developer, California-based Craig Realty Group, has signed up a dozen stores and cafes for the expansion.

'Part of our success is (because of) our location between the Portland metro area and Salem,' Daily said.

As a result, the outlet has been able to attract national retailers wanting to expand in the Pacific Northwest.

Retailers in the new addition will include Casual Corner Group stores, Zales the Diamond Outlet, Le Gourmet Chef Inc., KB Toys, Wireless Express and Oregon-based Your Northwest.

Sidelined steelworkers

get help moving on

Hundreds of Oregon Steel Mills Inc. employees who have lost their jobs, or at least lost hours, because of the company's shift of some production work to Mexico, can get help from the federal government in finding new work. The U.S. Labor Department says 660 steelworkers who used to make steel slabs and hot-rolled steel plates in Portland are eligible to apply for assistance under the Trade Act of 1974.

Oregon Steel Mills has laid off 310 Portland-based workers and reduced others to part time because of the production shift. The help extends to workers who lose their jobs to Mexico through May 9, 2005.

Crown Pacific posts 10th

consecutive quarterly loss

Just as Crown Pacific Partners warned investors recently, the Portland-based lumber company lost more money in the first quarter of this year than it did in the same quarter last year. It announced that it lost $16.5 million, or 54 cents per unit, on $107 million in revenues. Last year's first-quarter loss was $6.9 million, or 22 cents per unit, on $122.8 million in revenue.

That was the company's 10th straight quarterly loss.

The company disclosed that it is renegotiating with its lenders, and warned that it could seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection if the parties can't reach an agreement. Crown Pacific has $513 million in long-term debt.

Crown Pacific has sold some assets, including its trading and distribution centers in Albuquerque, N.M., and Eugene for $4.5 million in cash. However, it also counts on its balance sheet a $5.5 million noncash accounting charge associated with the impairment of good will in connection with those sales. A company news release pointed out that the losses would have been reduced to $11 million if not for that charge.

Ñ Mary Bellotti and

Nevill Eschen