TCR_Public/001031.MBX             T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                 Tuesday, October 31, 2000, Vol. 4, No. 213
  
                                Headlines

AMERICAN ECO: Creditors' Committee Taps BDO Seidman as Financial Advisors
AMERICAN ECO: Company Retains Reinauer as Real Estate Brokers
AMERISERVE: Wal-Mart's McLane Co. Wins Bid on Food Distributor's Assets
ASSET SECURITIZATION: S&P Lowers Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates To CCC
CAMBIOR, INC.: Debt Repayment Plan Deadline Extended to Nov. 30, 2000

CANWEST MEDIA: Moody's Assigns Ba3 Rating to Senior Secured Facilities
CAROLINA PREMIER: Scott Medical Offers $1.1 Million for Debtor's Assets
CENTENNIAL COAL: Judge Walsh Confirms Debtors' 2nd Amended Joint Plan
CLARIDGE HOTEL: Moves to Assume and Extend Executives' Employment Contracts
DRKOOP.COM: Announces Deal With Medical Advisory Systems To Boost Revenues

FAMILY HEALTH: Geoffrey Berman Projects Distributions in April or May
FLOORING AMERICA: Carpet Distributor Seeks Buyer for Franchise Groups
GC COMPANIES: Columbia Residents To Look Elsewhere for A Movie Theater
HARNISCHFEGER INDUSTRIES: Joy Agrees to Let 3rd Cir. Appeal Proceed
HEILIG-MEYERS: Court Okays $100K Overbid/2% Break-Up Fee Bidding Procedures

HOGIL PHARMACEUTICAL: September Operating Statement Shows Minor Loss
KAISER GROUP: Subsidiary Announces Exchange Offer Extended To Nov. 15, 2000
KITTY HAWK: Judge Houser Approves Debtors' Final Disclosure Statement
LOEWEN GROUP: Asks Court to Approve Settlement Agreement With Rose Hills
MADA INSURANCE: S&P Assigns Bpi Financial Strength Rating to Insurer

MOSSIMO, INC.: Irvine Sues Apparel Maker for $4.5 Million in Unpaid Rent
NATIONAL BOSTON: Employing Mintmire & Assoc. as Special Corporate Counsel
NETTEL COMMUNICATIONS: Seeks To Convert Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 Liquidation
NIAGARA MOHAWK: Reports Results for Third Quarter Ending Sept. 30, 2000
NISOURCE INC: Fitch Assigns Preliminary BBB+ Senior Unsecured Debt Rating

OWENS CORNING: Judge Walrath Blesses Centralized Cash Management System
PARAGON TRADE: Announces Appointment of David C. Nicholson As New CFO
PHYSICIANS RESOURCE: Presses for Release of Insurance Policy Proceeds
PRIME RETAIL: Berger & Montague Commences Shareholder Class Action Suit
SYNTHONICS TECHNOLOGIES: Files Chapter 11 Petition in California

UNIVERSAL BROADBAND: Bankruptcy Filing Seen on the Horizon
VDC COMMUNICATIONS: Auditors Expresses Doubt About Company's Viability
VENCOR, INC.: Stipulation With Meisner Electric For Relief From Stay
VIDEO UPDATE: Bank Group Objects to Use of Cash Collateral

                                *********

AMERICAN ECO: Creditors' Committee Taps BDO Seidman as Financial Advisors
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The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of American Eco Corporation,
et al., seek to retain BDO Seidman, LLP as its financial advisors.  The
professionals at BDO Seidman who will be principally involved in providing
services to the debtors will be William K. Lenhart and William
Giovanniello, both members of BDO's Financial Recovery Services Group.  In
addition, certain other professionals at BDO may be involved in providing
services to the debtors.

Specifically, BDO Seidman will assist the Committee by providing these
services, among others:

    a. Analyze the financial operations of the debtors from the date of the
        filing of the Chapter 11 petitions;

    b. Analyze the financial information of the debtors prior to the date of
        the filing of the Chapter 11 petitions;

    c. Review any proposed plan of liquidation and prepare and submit a
        report to the Committee to aid them in evaluating the proposed plan
        of liquidation;

    d. Verification of the debtors' physical inventory of merchandise,
        supplies, and equipment and other necessary material assets and
        liabilities;

    e. Assist the Committee in its review of monthly statements of    
        operations submitted by the debtors;

    f. Assist the Committee in its evaluation of cash flow and/or other
        projections prepared by the debtors;

    g. Scrutinize the debtors' cash disbursements on an ongoing basis for
        the period subsequent to the filing of the Chapter 11 petitions;

    h. Analyze transactions to identify potential fraudulent conveyances
        regarding any acquisitions and sales of companies affiliated with
        the debtors;

    i. Analyze transactions with the debtors' financing institution;

    j. Analyze any transactions completed 90 days prior to the filing of the
        Chapter 11 petitions to identify potential preferential payments;

    k. Attend Committee meetings and meetings of other creditors.

The firm will charge its customary hourly rates

    partners         $300 - $450
    senior managers  $215 - $325
    managers         $150 - $280
    seniors          $100 - $170
    staff            $60  - $150


AMERICAN ECO: Company Retains Reinauer as Real Estate Brokers
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American Eco Holding Corp., et al., seeks court authority to retain
Reinauer Real Estate Brokers as real estate broker to the debtors. The real
estate broker will list and market certain real property of debtor Lake
Charles Construction Corporation located at 6102 Common Street, Lake
Charles, Louisiana, effective as of October 9, 2000. The broker will take
the necessary steps to list and market the property in a manner to maximize
the value thereof and to generate the highest and best offers therefor; to
facilitate the dissemination of information to interested parties with
respect to the property; to correspondingly assist the debtors with the
sale process; and to take any other acts to prepare for, conduct and
effectuate the sale and to insure the highest possible price and/or best
offer for the property.

The broker will receive a commission of 7% of the gross purchase price for
the property.  Co-counsel to the debtors are the law firms of Lowenstein
Sandler PC and Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl, Young & Jones PC.


AMERISERVE: Wal-Mart's McLane Co. Wins Bid on Food Distributor's Assets
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Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s McLane Co. Inc., Reuters reports, won the bidding
for the U.S. distribution assets of Ameriserve Food Distribution Inc.  No
other bidders were present during the auction in New York last week.  
Texas-based Ameriserve, recently obtained court approval for its disclosure
statement pertaining to its reorganization plan.  Based in Addison, Texas,
Ameriserve filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 in January. The
company is considered as one of the nation's largest distributor dealing in
chain restaurants and quick service establishments. Ameriserve offers its
services to KFC, Long John Silver's, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.


ASSET SECURITIZATION: S&P Lowers Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates To CCC
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's lowered its ratings on Asset Securitization Corp.'s
commercial mortgage pass-through certificates series 1997-MD VII classes B-
1 and B-1H to triple-'C' from single-'B'. Concurrently, Standard & Poor's
affirmed its triple-'A' ratings for the same series on classes A-1A and A-
1B (see list). Standard & Poor's did not rate any of the other classes.

The lowered ratings reflect the continuing decline in operating performance
of a loan made to Fairfield Inns. This loan is the largest in the mortgage
pool (33% of the total outstanding principal balance) and is secured by 50
hotels that are operated under Fairfield Inn's name.

Based on discussions with the servicer, the Fairfield Inn's loan is being
considered for a transfer to special servicing. The loan's debt service
coverage (DSC) according to the servicer for the trailing 12 months ended
June 16, 2000 is 0.90 times (x), down from 1.05x at Dec. 31, 1999. Based on
Standard & Poor's review of the borrowers financial statements, the
estimated DSC is expected to be below 1.0x for the full year. The borrower
has covered the DSC shortfalls by subordinating ground lease payments on
several Fairfield Inn properties.

The decline in operating performance is due primarily to significant
competition and oversupply in the limited service hotel sector, combined
with salary increases due to tight labor markets, and increases in repairs
and maintenance items.

The pool consists of seven loans collateralized by first mortgage liens on
71 properties that are located in 19 states. The DSC for the pool declined
to 1.74x at Dec. 31, 1999 from 1.85x at Dec. 31, 1998. The decline is
primarily due to the performance of the Fairfield Inn's loan.

The pool to date has had no losses or delinquencies. Maturity exposure in
the near term is limited, as the first loan is not due until January 2017,
Standard & Poor's said.

OUTSTANDING RATINGS LOWERED

Asset Securitization Corp.
Commercial mortgage pass-through certs ser 1997-MD VII

Class                               Rating
                           To                      From
B-1                       CCC                       B
B-1H                      CCC                       B

OUTSTANDING RATINGS AFFIRMED

Asset Securitization Corp.
Commercial mortgage pass-through certs ser 1997-MD VII

Class                           Rating

A-1A                             AAA
A-1B                             AAA


CAMBIOR, INC.: Debt Repayment Plan Deadline Extended to Nov. 30, 2000
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Cambior Inc. announces financial and operating results for the three months
ended September 30, 2000. Gold production was 150,000 ounces for the
quarter, the same production level as for the corresponding quarter last
year, and direct mining costs were $214 per ounce, down slightly compared
to the third quarter of 1999.

Total revenues for the third quarter amounted to $51.8 million compared to
$56.6 million in the third quarter of 1999. The operating margin
(EBITDA(1)) was $17.8 million (24 cents per share) compared to $17.1
million (24 cents per share) for the corresponding period in 1999. Total
revenues were lower than in the third quarter of last year due to a lower
realized gold price of $318 per ounce compared to $371 per ounce for the
same period in 1999. These amounts include only gold and niobium activities
and exclude the base metals sector.

Exploration and corporate administrative expenses were $0.3 million and
$0.6 million respectively for the third quarter of 2000, down from $2.3
million and $1.0 million for the comparable 1999 quarter. Financing
expenses increased to $4.3 million for the third quarter of 2000 compared
to $1.9 million for the third quarter of 1999 due to the increased interest
payments under the Company's Credit Facility.

Cash flow from operating activities was $3.9 million (5 cents per share)
compared to $22.8 million (32 cents per share) in the third quarter of
1999. Continuing operations generated net earnings of $1.1 million (1 cents
per share) for the quarter compared to a net loss of $27.5 million (39
cents per share) for the corresponding period in 1999. Following the
announcement of an agreement for the sale of the La Granja copper project
in Peru, and based on the expected net realizable value of the project,
Cambior has charged, as discontinued operations, an amount of $10.0 million
to earnings during the quarter, which amount includes a writedown of mining
assets and a provision for the estimated care and maintenance expenses for
the next 12 months related to the remaining assets held for sale.

Revenues for the first nine months of 2000 totaled $157.7 million compared
to $174.3 million for the first nine months of 1999. The operating margin
(EBITDA(1)) was $46.5 million (64 cents per share) compared to $53.7
million (76 cents per share) for the corresponding period in 1999. Cash
flow from operations was $22.0 million (30 cents per share) compared to
$42.7 million (61 cents per share) for the first nine months of 1999. The
net loss for the first nine months of 2000, including $7.9 million related
to discontinued operations, was $10.3 million (14 cents per share) compared
to a net loss of $26.2 million (37 cents per share) for the corresponding
period in 1999.

Capital investments totaled $7.1 million for the third quarter of 2000
compared to $16.5 million for the same period in 1999, and were principally
for development at the Doyon Division, stripping costs at Omai and the
expansion of the Niobec Mine.

At September 30, 2000, cash and cash equivalents were $9.4 million and
shareholders' equity was $206.8 million or $2.74 (Cdn $4.12) per share
based on 75.6 million common shares outstanding. The total number of
outstanding common shares increased from 70.6 million to 75.6 million in
the third quarter 2000 as a result of the conversion by Jipangu Inc. on
July 17, 2000 of its 5 million Class I Preferred Shares, Series 1 of
Cambior into 5 million common shares without par value.

SUBMITTAL OF A COMMITTED RESTRUCTURING PLAN EXTENDED TO NOVEMBER 30, 2000

Cambior also announces that the deadline to submit committed arrangements
to repay or refinance the balance of its bank loan, initially extended from
September 30 to October 31, 2000, has been extended to November 30, 2000.
This new extension entails no additional financial charge or cost to
Cambior and the interest rates previously disclosed remain applicable.

AGREEMENT FOR THE SALE OF LA GRANJA

On September 14 and 15, 2000, Cambior announced that it had entered into an
agreement with a third party for the sale of the La Granja copper project
in Peru, which is expected to generate net proceeds in excess of $34
million for Cambior. This sale is expected to close shortly after the
conclusion of the bidding process pertaining to the purchase of the La
Granja royalty held by Empresa Minera Del Peru S.A., scheduled to take
place during the fourth quarter of 2000.

RESULTS FROM ONGOING OPERATIONS - GOLD AND NIOBIUM

In the third quarter of 2000, Cambior produced 149,600 ounces of gold at an
average direct mining cost of $214 per ounce, compared to 150,200 ounces at
$217 per ounce for the corresponding quarter in 1999. For the first nine
months of 2000, the Company produced 458,300 ounces of gold at an average
direct mining cost of $215 per ounce.

The Omai mine performed strongly during the quarter to produce 84,600
ounces of gold, a 15% improvement over the third quarter of 1999 due to a
12% increase in head grade and better gold recovery. During the quarter,
the mill processed 1,937,000 tonnes (21,000 tonnes per day), including
499,000 tonnes at a grade of 1.0 g Au/t from soft rock ore and the low
grade stockpile and 1,438,000 tonnes of hard rock at a grade of 1.6 g Au/t.
Due primarily to the increase in fuel prices, direct costs were $9.68 per
tonne milled compared to $9.31 per tonne milled in the third quarter of
1999. Despite the increase in fuel prices, direct mining costs improved 9%
to $222 per ounce in the third quarter due to cost reductions in general
services and milling consumables and to higher grade and better gold
recovery. For the first nine months of 2000, the Omai mine produced 243,200
ounces of gold at an average direct mining cost of $224 per ounce.

For the quarter, the Doyon Division processed 314,200 tonnes of ore at a
grade of 5.5 g Au/t from its underground mines and 32,300 tonnes from low-
grade stockpiles (1.7 g Au/t), to produce 55,300 ounces of gold at an
average direct mining cost of $212 per ounce. For the first nine months of
2000, the Doyon Division produced 173,000 ounces of gold at an average
direct mining cost of $216 per ounce.

The Sleeping Giant mine had an improved quarter due to a higher grade
milled and a slight increase in tonnage milled. Cambior's 50% share of
production was 9,800 ounces of gold at an average direct mining cost of
$166 per ounce compared to 8,800 ounces at an average direct mining cost of
$218 per ounce for the third quarter of 1999. For the first nine months of
2000, Cambior's share of production from the Sleeping Giant mine was 29,900
ounces at an average direct mining cost of $173 per ounce.

Cambior's 50% share of production from the Niobec mine in the third quarter
of 2000 totaled 261 tonnes of niobium. The 30% Phase I expansion was
completed on schedule and on budget during the quarter and will be
gradually brought on stream during the fourth quarter of 2000. For the
first nine months of 2000, Cambior's share of production from the Niobec
mine was 807 tonnes of niobium.

MARKETS AND HEDGING

During the quarter, gold markets traded within a range of $270 to $288 per
ounce with an average price of $277 per ounce. For the quarter, Cambior's
gold hedging program generated an average realized price of $318 per ounce,
a premium of $41 per ounce over the average market price, providing
additional revenues of $6.2 million. In the corresponding quarter of 1999,
Cambior had a realized price of $371 per ounce compared to a market price
of $259 per ounce, for a premium of $112 per ounce.

As of September 30, 2000, Cambior's gold hedging program consisted of a
total of 1.1 million ounces at an average price of $322 per ounce. These
hedged positions include fixed forward contracts and the minimum quantity
of the variable volume forward contracts with fixed delivery dates. Total
commitments over eight years add up to 2.5 million ounces at an average
price of $333/oz for a reduction of 1.0 million ounces since the beginning
of the year.

During the third quarter, with no cash outlay, the Company restructured its
variable volume forward contracts maturing in 2001 to reduce its total
commitments by 96,000 ounces for the year 2001.

The estimated mark-to-market value of Cambior's total gold sales
commitments as at September 30, 2000, excluding the deferred hedging gains,
is positive $170,000 in favour of the Company using a gold price of $274
per ounce and the market conditions prevailing at that date.

OUTLOOK

Louis P. Gignac, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cambior, stated
that "the closing of the sale of the La Granja copper project scheduled for
November 2000 will reduce our aggregate indebtedness to approximately $128
million. We expect to further reduce the debt level by year-end through a
share offering or private placement and/or sale of the remaining copper
assets. We also intend to submit a committed financial restructuring plan
to our creditors in the fourth quarter of 2000 to refinance our debt at a
level of $115-120 million and thus stabilize our long-term financial
position." Subject to the success of its financial restructuring, Cambior
will focus on gold mining in the future, having retained all of its core
gold assets, and will be able to develop its gold properties to the benefit
of its shareholders. Cambior continues to aggressively pursue its efforts
to meet its financial obligations. While there can be no assurance in that
respect, management continues to feel that its efforts are likely to be
successful and are appropriate under the current circumstances.

Cambior Inc. is an international gold producer with operations, development
projects and exploration activities throughout the Americas. Cambior's
shares trade on the Toronto and American (AMEX) stock exchanges under the
symbol "CBJ".


CANWEST MEDIA: Moody's Assigns Ba3 Rating to Senior Secured Facilities
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba3 rating to the C$2.95 billion of
senior secured bank credit facilities of CanWest Media Inc.  Moody's has
also assigned a B2 rating to the C$800 million of senior subordinated notes
of CanWest Media.  The senior implied rating and senior unsecured issuer
rating are Ba3 and B1, respectively.  The proceeds will help fund CanWest's
acquisition of Hollinger's Canadian publishing properties and refinance the
existing debt at CanWest. The purchase price of C$3.6 billion, including
C$100 million in fees, will be financed with C$2.2 billion in cash, C$700
million in holding company notes and C$618 million of equity.

CanWest's ratings reflect the dominant market position, distribution
capabilities, content library, revenue diversification, and stability of
its post-acquisition multimedia platform. With the Hollinger transaction,
CanWest will supplement its ownership of leading Canadian television
stations with the ownership of leading daily and non-daily publication
properties in Canada. As a result, CanWest will also be able to reach
approximately 94% of the Canada's English-language market and it will have
a notable number of newspapers with a commanding presence in overlapping
markets. CanWest's ratings benefit substantially from the strength of this
asset base, which will enable the company to garner a significant portion
of Canada's advertising dollars (approximately 40% to 50% in each of its
local markets, 30% of all advertising in Canada).

Furthermore, the ratings recognize the inherent stability provided by the
breadth of CanWest's market coverage and the domestic market protection
provided by Canadian regulations, including provisions for simulcasting and
foreign ownership. The company's multimedia platform also allows CanWest to
further secure its market position by enhancing its ability to provide
advertising solutions to its clients. Additionally, the ratings derive some
support from the cross border diversification of CanWest's international
assets. The company has equity interests in Australia, New Zealand, the
Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

However, given its ambitions of a greater presence in foreign English-
language markets, more depth in its domestic markets, and the launch of
several specialty cable channels, CanWest is challenged by its substantial
leverage and modest interest coverage.

On a pro forma basis, debt-to-EBITDA and EBITDA-to-cash interest were 5.7
times and 1.8 times, respectively, for the last twelve months ended May
2000. EBITDA-less-capital expenditures coverage of interest is thin at 1.5
times; EBITDA-less-capital expenditures-to-interest expense plus dividends
is 1.4 times. Notably, EBITDA includes an approximately C$75 million cash
distribution from the company's investment in Australia's Network Ten.
Additionally, the leverage calculation does not include CanWest's C$700
million of PIK holding company notes issued by a CanWest holding company
and held by the seller. Including the PIK holding company notes in the debt
calculation, leverage is high at 6.9 times.

The ratings anticipate that CanWest's acquisition strategy may limit
reduction of leverage in the near-term. The company's fixed charge coverage
is also expected to remain thin over the next few years. Alternatively,
acquisition risk may be offset somewhat as management may use equity to
help fund future transactions. CanWest has a C$2.9 billion market
capitalization and trades on the Toronto and the New York exchanges.

Other meaningful factors constraining CanWest's ratings include the trend
of declining audience share of broadcast television stations in Canada
(although advertising is rising), declining circulation of the publishing
assets, its foreign currency exposure and CanWest's exposure to cyclical
advertising spending.

Finally, the ratings also consider the near term integration risks posed by
the enormity of the Hollinger transaction. With the Hollinger and WIC
acquisition (purchase price: approximately C$861 million), CanWest will
triple in size and operate in an advertising-dependent but unfamiliar
sector. Prior to this transaction CanWest did not operate newspaper
properties.

Yet, the ratings also recognize that the retention of key members of
Hollinger's management team and the addition of Conrad Black to the board
of directors, mitigates some integration risk. Moody's also recognizes that
members of the Hollinger management team are experienced at operating in a
highly leveraged environment.

The Ba3 bank ratings specifically recognize the substantial protection
provided by the security package which includes the Canadian television
stations and the publishing properties as collateral and the benefits of
upstream guarantees from its restricted subsidiaries. The B2 rating on the
guaranteed senior subordinated notes reflects their contractual
subordination to the bank credit facilities and the prospect of future
subordination to any additional senior debt, although leverage is limited
by the notes indenture.

CanWest, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is an international media company
with interests in broadcast television, newspapers, business publications,
radio, specialty cable channels and Internet web sites in Canada,
Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.


CAROLINA PREMIER: Scott Medical Offers $1.1 Million for Debtor's Assets
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The US Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of North Carolina, Durham
Division, entered an order on October 17, 2000 authorizing the debtor,
Carolina Premier Medical Group, PA to sell all or substantially all the
assets of the estate to Scott Medical Group, LLC or its designee. Pursuant
to the Purchase Agreement, the tangible assets would be sold at an
aggregate price of $1,100,743 and the court finds the purchase price for
such tangible assets, taken as a whole, to be fair and reasonable in the
context of the overall purchase price under the Purchase Agreement.

Pursuant to the Purchase Agreement, the accounts receivable would be sold
at an aggregate price of approximately $1,040,463 based upon the projected
value as of October 31, 2000 and the Court finds the purchase price for
such accounts to be fair and reasonable, taken as a whole in the context of
the overall purchase price under the Purchase Agreement.  The debtor is
permitted to accept a higher and better offer without a break-up fee.


CENTENNIAL COAL: Judge Walsh Confirms Debtors' 2nd Amended Joint Plan
---------------------------------------------------------------------
On October 16, 2000, the Honorable Peter J. Walsh in the US Bankruptcy
Court, District of Delaware entered an order confirming the second amended
joint plan of reorganization of Centennial Coal Inc., Centennial Resources,
Inc., CR Mining Company and B-Four, Inc.

The court found that the debtors as proponents of the plan complied with
applicable sections of the Bankruptcy Code, and that the plan has been
proposed in good faith. All payments to be made by the debtors in
connection with the plan have been approved or are subject to the approval
of the court.  The plan has been accepted by at least one class of Impaired
Claims that is entitled to vote on the plan.


CLARIDGE HOTEL: Moves to Assume and Extend Executives' Employment Contracts
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nine members of upper management of The Claridge Hotel and Casino
Corporation are presently subject to employment agreements. The agreements
provide for severance benefits of 125% of the executive's annual base
salary then in effect.

The salaries for the nine members of upper management as of September 18,
2000 range from $120,000 to $275,000. The employment agreement provides for
a severance benefit equal to three times the average executive's total
compensation for the preceding five years of employment by the debtors.
(Three times the average gross income of the nine members of upper
management range from $293,000 to $687,000) The debtors also seek approval
of a Retention Policy which provides for payment of a retention or "stay"
bonus to all of the thirty-one key employees. Those proposed bonuses total
$690,103.

The debtors believe that uncertainty, expense and lost productivity will be
eliminated by the immediate implementation of the proposed Retention Policy
as well as the extension of the existing employment agreements with key
executives and that these will all benefit the debtors' estates far beyond
any potential costs. The debtors believe that the policies are reasonable
and fair to all employees, creditors and parties-in-interest and should be
approved by the court.


DRKOOP.COM: Announces Deal With Medical Advisory Systems To Boost Revenues
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Seeking to improve both of their revenues, Drkoop.com and Medical Advisory
Systems signed a deal to become partners, Ted Hughes of LocalBusiness.com
relates. The deal's aim is to convert Drkoop.com's avid fans into buying
travel insurance and for them to participate on company's drug tests.
Backed by banner ads, the deal also states that patients can now talk to
doctors online. On how to split revenues, neither company revealed how.
Drkoop.com President Edward Cespedes told LocalBusiness.com all of the
margins are good for his company "because we're not incurring any of the
costs. It's all on a per-usage basis."

In an interview conducted by Ted Hughes, MAS President Ron Pickett states
that, "These are billion-dollar markets . . . and if we capture 10% that
would be significant.  We think it'll be higher than that."  What Cespedes
sees as the most revenue generator would be its partner's online doctor
chat sessions, which according to Pickett, generated 1.5 million chats last
year. The chats would be personalized consultations between doctors, whose
revenues comes from hospital sponsors buying ads appearing during sessions.

Medical Advisory Systems has sold medical services for 20 years already.
Pickett added that the company has doctors on-call in 38 countries. The
medical establishment is headquartered in Owings Mills, in Maryland.


FAMILY HEALTH: Geoffrey Berman Projects Distributions in April or May
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Even though liquidation has started on Ventura County's largest medical
group, officials reveal that doctors and creditors may be counting months
before recovering any money, latimes.com reports.  

"It's going to be April or May before we could do a distribution,"
according to Geoffrey Berman. Mr. Berman is the VP of Development
Specialists Inc. overseeing the liquidation proceedings.

The medical group in California operates four clinics and acts as a
mediator between a network of physicians and HMO's. Family Health's largest
contractors were California Care Blue Cross, with about 33,000 patients,
and Health Net and PacifiCare, each with more than 20,000 patients. The
group had contracts with 16 health plans, including Cigna, Aetna U.S.
Healthcare, Blue Shield, Maxicare, and three senior-care programs.


FLOORING AMERICA: Carpet Distributor Seeks Buyer for Franchise Groups
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Flooring America Inc. (FRAE) is seeking to sell certain of its franchise
groups to Carpet Co-op of America Association for $13.3 million, subject to
higher and better offers. Specifically, the floor covering distribution
network operator and franchiser seeks to sell the operating assets of its
Flooring America Franchise Group/Carpet MAX, GCO and CarpetMAX Canada
franchise systems, along with its Everythingdecor.com Internet operations.
The assets to be sold include certain accounts receivable, tradenames and
other intellectual property, and up to $1 million of GCO inventory. The
$13.3 million sale price would be subject to certain adjustments.  (ABI
27-Oct-00)


GC COMPANIES: Columbia Residents To Look Elsewhere for A Movie Theater
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Due to the theater industry's tough competition, General Cinema Theaters
Inc., may leave Columbia a place with no movie theater, The Washington Post
reports. General Cinema, which filed for Chapter 11 on Oct. 11, posted
assets of $ 328.9 million over debts of $ 195.1 million. General Cinema is
pending indefinitely its plan to build a multi-screen on the building
located on Wincopin Circle in Columbia. SVP Alton J. Scavo of Rouse Co.,
Columbia developer announces he's uncertainty on the building's fate. "This
particular building is functionally obsolete as cinemas go today. It
probably would wind up in a different use. There's a possibility it could
be razed. . . . It had a good run, as they say, but is probably past its
prime as a cinema structure."

"It's very tough financial times right now in the industry," Communications
director, Brian Callaghan said. "It's just made it difficult for a number
of theaters, smaller theaters especially."


HARNISCHFEGER INDUSTRIES: Joy Agrees to Let 3rd Cir. Appeal Proceed
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Debtors consent to modification of the automatic stay to permit Gordon
E. Hughes to continue prosecution of his prepetition lawsuit against Joy
Mining Machinery (Civil Action No. 97-1429), pending before the U.S.
District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Modification of
the stay is limited to permit an appeal to the Third Circuit Court of
Appeals to proceed. That case is already docketed as Case No. 99-3448.
James B. Lieber, Esq., at Lieber & Hammer, P.C., represents Mr. Hughes.
(Harnischfeger Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 28; Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc., 609/392-0900)


HEILIG-MEYERS: Court Okays $100K Overbid/2% Break-Up Fee Bidding Procedures
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia, entered an order
on October 16, 2000 establishing bidding procedures and protections in
connection with the sale of certain leases of Heilig-Meyers Company, et al.

The debtors are authorized to grant the Bidding Incentives including but
not limited to, a break up fee of up to 2%, Expense Reimbursement of up to
$100,000 and Overbid Minimums as set by the debtors. An auction to solicit
bids for the leases may be held on November 13, 2000 commencing at 10:00 AM
and if necessary continued on November 14, 2000, provided that the debtors
in their sole discretion may at any time withdraw one of more leases from
the auction.

The debtors shall seek authorization and approval of the sale, assumption
and assignment of leases sold at the auction at a hearing to be held before
the Honorable Douglas O. Tice, US Bankruptcy Judge, US Bankruptcy Court,
Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division on December 6, 2000 at 2:00
PM.

Co-counsel Willkie Farr & Gallagher and McGuire Woods LLP represent the
debtors.


HOGIL PHARMACEUTICAL: September Operating Statement Shows Minor Loss
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Monthly operating statements filed by Hogil Pharmaceutical Corp. for the
period September 1, 2000 to September 30, 2000, the debtor reports
disbursements of $338,107 and a loss of $14,341 to the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court in New York.  The company reports total assets of $14,278,640.


KAISER GROUP: Subsidiary Announces Exchange Offer Extended To Nov. 15, 2000
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kaiser Government Programs, Inc., a subsidiary of Kaiser Group
International, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: KSRG), announced that it has
extended to 5:00 p.m. eastern time on Wednesday, November 15, 2000 the
expiration date of its exchange offer of guarantee rights for put rights
relating to Kaiser Group International, Inc.'s $125 million, 12% Senior
Subordinated Notes due 2003.


KITTY HAWK: Judge Houser Approves Debtors' Final Disclosure Statement
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Kitty Hawk, Inc. and its affiliated debtors filed a Final Disclosure
Statement in support of their joint plan of reorganization dated
October 10, 2000.  The plan provides for the post-confirmation merger of
the debtors into a single Delaware corporation, which will be called Kitty
Hawk Aircargo, and for the continuation of the debtors' core business.

The majority of the debtors' existing secured debt as well as
administrative and priority claims will be paid from cash on hand, asset
sales and the proceeds of a new financing agreement. AS part of a
settlement with the holders of the Senior Notes, the claims against the
debtors will be consolidated for distribution purposes. The Noteholders
will receive 85% of the issued and outstanding shares of stock in
Reorganized Kitty Hawk.

The other unsecured creditors will be treated in one of the three ways:

      * First, an allowed unsecured claim in the amount of $500 or less will
be paid in full in cash.

      * Second, holders of allowed unsecured claims that are not Noteholder
Claims, may receive their pro rata share of 15% of the issued and
outstanding stock of Reorganized Kitty Hawk. Kitty Hawk's projections and
value estimates indicate that 15% of reorganized Kitty Hawk should be worth
between $20.9 million and $24 million or between approximately 29% and 33%
of the general unsecured claims.

      * Third, Holders of allowed unsecured claims that are not Noteholder
claims may elect to receive a discounted amount of cash in lieu of stock
conditioned upon the Reorganized Debtor's ability to raise cash through a
private placement.

The plan does not substantively consolidate the debtors. Although the plan
consolidates claims against the various debtors for distribution purposes,
the plan does not consolidate them for voting or other purposes.
Northwest Airlines, Inc. and Mercury Air Group, Inc. , creditors of certain
debtors have objected to the plan, intend to vote against it, and submit
that the plan should be rejected by the holders of the other unsecured
claims.

Northwest and Mercury believe that the plan does not treat holders of other
unsecured claims fairly in relation to the unsecured claims of the
Noteholders. Under the plan, the Noteholders receive nearly six times more
shares of the Reorganized Debtor than the holders of Other Unsecured Claims
and majority control of the Reorganized Debtor, when the Noteholders'
unsecured claims are projected to exceed the Allowed Other Unsecured Claims
by only approximately three times.

The debtors are seeking approximately $110 million in exit debt financing,
comprised of a $60 million term loan and a $50 million revolver. The
debtors have, to date, receive four proposals from lenders. The debtors
shall attempt to sell up to five million shares of New Common Stock through
a Private Placement. The price per share placed will be $3 or more. The
sale(s) will close on the Effective Date.

An order approving the final disclosure statement was entered on October
10, 200 by the Honorable Barbara Houser, US Bankruptcy Judge, for the
Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division. Counsel for Kitty Hawk,
Inc., et al. is the law firm of Haynes and Boone, LLP, (Dallas, Forth
Worth, Austin, Texas)


LOEWEN GROUP: Asks Court to Approve Settlement Agreement With Rose Hills
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Loewen Group International, Inc. and The Loewen Group Inc. ask the Court
to approve, pursuant to Rule 9019 of the Bankruptcy Rules, their
Settlement Agreement with Rose Hills Company and Rose Hills Holdings Corp.
to resolve matters over an Administrative Services Agreement between Rose
Hills and the Settlement Debtors, and the sale of a parcel of real
property located in Van Nuys, California, both of which have been the
subject of prior proceedings in the Loewen cases.

             The Escrow Account for Proceeds from Property Sale

In August, 1999, LGII sought the Court's authority to sell the real
property commonly described as 14601 Sherman Way, Van Nuys, California.
Rose Hills challenged LGII's right to the proceeds of the sale. The Court,
having entertained both sides, granted LGII's motion but directed that the
net proceeds of the sale was to be deposited into a segregated, interest-
bearing escrow account, pending resolution of the entitlement to such net
proceeds.

                                 The ASA

As previously reported, the parties had disputed over the termination or
otherwise of an the Administrative Services Agreement on the Debtors'
provision of administrative services in connection with the operation of
Rose Hills' businesses, at an annual administrative fee of $250,000
($334,000 for the first year), subject to a 2.5% annual increase.

The parties subsequently agreed that the ASA will remain in full force and
effect, but Rose Hills shall not be obligated to pay any monthly
administrative fees to the Settlement Debtors starting from March 1, 2000
until either (a) the Settlement Debtors exercise their right to assume the
ASA under section 365 of thee Bankruptcy Code or (b) Rose Hills requests
the Settlement Debtors to provide administrative services pursuant to the
ASA. Neither of these events has occurred.

Rose Hills has filed Proofs of Claim against the Debtors in respect of the
ASA and certain other agreements, and the Settlement Debtors have asserted
claims against Rose Hills for unpaid administrative fees and expenses
totalling approximately $730,000.

                          The Settlement Agreement

To resolve the dispute, the parties agree that:

(1) Rose Hills will pay the Settlement Debtors $514,000 in settlement of
     amounts due and claims arising from the ASA;

(2) The parties also agree to:

     (i) direct the release from the Escrow Account of the net sale
         proceeds, plus any accrued interest and less any associated escrow
         expenses (the Net Sale Proceeds), from the sale of the Real
         Property; and

    (ii) direct the payment of $514,000 of the Net Sale Proceeds to the
         Settlement Debtors and the remainder to Rose Hills.

(3) Rose Hills withdraws, with prejudice, the Proofs of Claim filed against
     the Debtors with respect to the ASA, and covenants not to claim against
     or sue the Debtors with respect to these Proofs of Claim, but such
     withdrawal will be without prejudice to any rights or claims Rose Hills
     may have with respect to Mayflower National Life Insurance Company, a
     nondebtor affiliate of the Debtors.

(4) The receipt of those proceeds by Rose Hills will constitute the full
     and final settlement of all claims, if any, that Rose Hills has against
     the Debtors with respect to the sale of the Real Property.

(5) ASA Stipulation and Order Remains in Full Force and Effect except to
     the extent that the terms of the ASA Stipulation and Order directly
     conflict with the terms of the Settlement Agreement Stipulation and
     Order.

(6) The Settlement Agreement is subject to the approval of the Creditors'
     Committee and the Court.

(Loewen Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 28; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
609/392-0900)


MADA INSURANCE: S&P Assigns Bpi Financial Strength Rating to Insurer
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's assigned its single-'Bpi' financial strength rating to
MADA Insurance Exchange.

The rating reflects the company's limited geographic and product-line
diversification, volatility in premium revenue, and erratic operating
performance.

This reciprocal exchange company is a nonprofit voluntary membership
organization providing workers' compensation coverage only to members of
the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association. It is licensed and operates
only in Minnesota and had $1.4 million in policyholder surplus at mid-year
2000. It began business in 1994.

Major Rating Factors:

    -- Operating performance has been very weak. In 1999, the company
        incurred a net loss of $736,000, attributable to adverse loss
        experience caused by several serve claims, and its cumulative
        earnings deficit was $340,000 at year-end 1999. Further, returns
        have been volatile, with return on revenue ranging from negative 30%
        to positive 15% between 1994 and 1999. In addition, the company pays
        management fees of about 7% of gross premium written.

    -- The company operates in a highly regulated and competitive
        environment, which may affect future earnings.

    -- Although capitalization was extremely strong at year-end 1999, as
        measured by Standard & Poor's capital adequacy model, policyholder
        surplus declined 85% in the first half of 2000 from $2.7 million at
        year-end 1999.

    -- Premium volume has decreased dramatically in the past few years to
        $3.2 million in 1999 from a high of $7.4 million in 1994, due to a
        reduction in premium levels and the loss of large clients as a
        result of lower quotes from competitors.

    -- The company's lack of geographic and product-line diversification is
        a limiting factor. All business is written in Minnesota, making it
        susceptible to regulatory changes and regional economic conditions.

    -- Reinsurance recoverables from nonaffiliates, at 184% of surplus, is
        higher than that of higher rated companies. Continued reliance on
        reinsurance is a limiting factor.

Although the company (NAIC:10011) is a subsidiary of MADA Holding Co. Inc.,
it is rated on a stand-alone basis.


MOSSIMO, INC.: Irvine Sues Apparel Maker for $4.5 Million in Unpaid Rent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
After settling an involuntary bankruptcy, Mossimo Inc., now is facing yet
another bump on the road, The Orange County Register reports. The Santa
Monica apparel designer is being sued for $4.5 million in unpaid and future
rent and other expenses by Irvine Co.  The sportswear maker is renting a
warehouse space owned by Irvine. The suit filed in Orange County Superior
Court states that Mossimo has stopped paying rent and may not pay its
future rents.  Due to the financial distress the company is experiencing,
it cannot pay its rent of $ 41,000 per month owed until the end of the
lease in 2007.  Mossimo refused to comment upon inquiries pertaining to the
suit.


NATIONAL BOSTON: Employing Mintmire & Assoc. as Special Corporate Counsel
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
National Boston Medical, Inc., and its debtor affiliates seek a court order
authorizing the employment of the law firm of Mintmire & Associates as
special corporate counsel to represent and provide certain legal services
on behalf of the debtors. The firm will assist the debtors by:

    (i)   Preparing and filing any and all necessary documents, notices and
           reports with the SEC and with any underlying state agencies;

    (ii)  Assisting the debtors in maintaining all general corporate records
           and addressing various corporate governance matters; and

    (iii) Assisting the debtor in raising financing on an equity basis and
           advising the debtors to such matters.

Mintmire is currently owed $125,000 from the debtors for prepetition and
postpetition services. Mintmire has not received any funds from the debtor
within ninety days of the bankruptcy filings. The last payment received
from the debtors was in February, 2000 in which Mintmire received certain
shares of common stock of the debtor which were sold for the sum of
$56,500.


NETTEL COMMUNICATIONS: Seeks To Convert Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 Liquidation
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Filing for Chapter 11 early this month, Nettel Communications, Inc., now
seeks to convert its reorganization case to a liquidation under Chapter 7,
Communications Today reports.  The petition that was filed in the U.S.
Bankruptcy Court of Washington listed assets of $133.5 million and debts of
$155 million.  The telecommunications carrier employs 472 people in 22
offices in the United States.  


NIAGARA MOHAWK: Reports Results for Third Quarter Ending Sept. 30, 2000
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Niagara Mohawk Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: NMK), parent company of Niagara Mohawk
Power Corp. (Niagara Mohawk), a regulated energy delivery company, reported
financial results for the third quarter, 2000.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA)
for the 12 months ended September 30, 2000 were approximately $1.18
billion, compared with approximately $1.16 billion for 12 months ended June
30, 2000, and approximately $1.29 billion for the 12 months ended September
30, 1999.

The continued strong cash flow has allowed the company to make significant
progress in retiring capital.  In 1999, the company retired over $1.1
billion in debt and so far this year has retired over $500 million of debt.
Additionally, the company has repurchased 27 million shares of its common
stock.

For the third quarter, 2000, Niagara Mohawk Holdings reported earnings of
$2.7 million, or 2 cents per share, as contrasted with a loss of $31.7
million, or a negative 17 cents per share, for the third quarter last year.  
The prior year's third-quarter loss included an extraordinary item
reflecting the early retirement of debt amounting to $13.1 million, or 7
cents per share.

Third-quarter 2000 earnings include approximately $19.4 million, or
12 cents per share, of insurance proceeds and disaster relief associated
with the 1998 ice storm restoration effort.  The quarter's earnings also
include $9.5 million, or 6 cents per share, because of higher gas gross
margin, and $6.2 million, or 4 cents per share, due to lower interest costs
resulting from continuing debt retirement.

Conversely, third-quarter 2000 results were reduced by approximately
$19.5 million, or 12 cents per share, as a result of Niagara Mohawk's
exposure to higher natural gas prices, and by $3.4 million, or 2 cents per
share, due to the second and third phases of electricity price reductions
implemented as part of Niagara Mohawk's regulatory restructuring agreement.

Significantly higher natural gas prices impacted Niagara Mohawk's fuel and
purchased power costs during the third quarter, principally because
restructured contracts with Independent Power Producers began indexing to
natural gas prices in July.  Fuel and purchased power costs were also
higher in the quarter because of an indexed contract with the new owner of
the Albany generating station and because of Niagara Mohawk's continued 25
percent ownership in the Roseton generating station.  The Albany and
Roseton stations are both fueled by oil or natural gas.  With respect to
its exposure to the restructured contracts with the IPPs and the Albany
contract, Niagara Mohawk has taken steps to hedge against further
volatility in natural gas prices, largely by purchasing NYMEX gas futures
contracts at an incremental cost of $6 million to $8 million per month
through August 2001, which marks the end of the fixed price period in
Niagara Mohawk's multi-year regulatory agreement.

Niagara Mohawk remains exposed to natural gas price changes at the Roseton
station until the sale of the plant, projected by year-end, is completed.
Niagara Mohawk estimates its incremental exposure at Roseton for the
remainder of the year to be approximately $3 million.

Commenting on the quarter, William E. Davis, chairman and chief executive
officer of Niagara Mohawk Holdings said, "The value creation inherent in
our aggressive capital retirement strategy was recognized by the National
Grid Group in our recently announced merger agreement."

The company reported a loss of $2.5 million, or a negative 1 cent per
share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2000, as compared with a
loss of $16.9 million, or a negative 9 cents per share, for the nine-month
period a year ago.  Earnings for the nine-months ended September 30, 1999
included an extraordinary charge related to the early retirement of debt of
$23.8 million, or 13 cents per share.

Earnings for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2000, compared to
the same period in 1999, were increased by $33.7 million, or 20 cents per
share, due to lower interest costs, and by $19.4 million, or 12 cents per
share, related to the recovery of January 1998 ice storm costs.

The increases, however, were offset by a number of factors.  Earnings were
reduced by $19.5 million, or 12 cents per share, as a result of Niagara
Mohawk's exposure to higher natural gas prices; by $18.9 million, or 11
cents per share, for costs associated with the operation of the New York
Independent System Operator; by $12.2 million, or 7 cents per share, for
higher production from hydroelectric IPPs; and by $11.0 million, or 6 cents
per share, as a consequence of electric price reductions.

Niagara Mohawk's electric revenues in the third quarter of 2000 were
$829.8 million, down 2.8 percent from the third quarter, 1999.  Electric
revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2000 were $2.4 billion,
down 0.9 percent compared with the same period in 1999.  Revenues from
retail customers decreased 13.0 and 9.8 percent, respectively, for the
three-month and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2000, while revenues
from transmission, distribution and wholesale sales increased 167.2 and
120.4 percent, respectively, compared with the three-month and nine-month
periods in 1999.  Retail revenues in both periods decreased primarily due
to milder weather and the fact that under retail choice, more customers
chose to buy electricity from energy service providers.

Niagara Mohawk's total sales of electricity, which include deliveries to
customers who chose to buy electricity from energy service providers,
decreased 1.8 percent for the three-month period ended September 30, 2000,
and decreased 2.6 percent for the nine-month period ended September 30,
2000, as compared with the same periods in 1999.  Total sales of
electricity declined primarily due to milder weather.

Niagara Mohawk's natural gas revenues for the third quarter, 2000 were
$79.8 million, up 8.2 percent from the third quarter of 1999.  For the nine
months ended September 30, 2000, natural gas revenues were $462.6 million,
up 4.5 percent, from the same period a year ago.  Revenues in both periods
reflect the recovery of higher natural gas costs.

Niagara Mohawk's total deliveries of natural gas, including the
transportation of customer-owned gas, were down 9.6 percent for the three
months ended September 30, 2000, and up 0.8 percent for the nine months
ended September 30, 2000, as compared with the same periods a year ago.  
Total deliveries in both periods were impacted by mild weather.


NISOURCE INC: Fitch Assigns Preliminary BBB+ Senior Unsecured Debt Rating
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch has assigned a preliminary (implied) `BBB+' senior unsecured debt
rating to NiSource Inc. (NiSource). In addition, Fitch has assigned
preliminary `BBB+' senior unsecured debt and `F2' commercial paper ratings
to NiSource Finance Corp. (Finance Corp.). Finance Corp. will be the
primary financing subsidiary for the new NiSource holding company
established through its upcoming merger with Columbia Energy Group. Finance
Corp. debt will be guaranteed by NiSource. The above ratings are
conditioned upon completion of the merger.

Other affiliated rating actions are as follows:

    a) NiSource Capital Trust I corporate premium income equity securities
        are downgraded to `BBB' from `A-';

    b) NiSource Capital Markets, Inc. (Capital Markets) senior unsecured
        debt is downgraded to `BBB+' from `A-', quarterly income debt
        securities are downgraded to `BBB' from `BBB+', and commercial paper
        downgraded to `F2' from `F1';

    c) Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) securities are
        affirmed at `A+' for first mortgage bonds, `A' for senior unsecured
        debt, `A-' for preferred stock, and `F1' for commercial paper;

    d) Columbia Energy Group's (Columbia) debentures are downgraded to `A-'
        from `A' and commercial paper to `F2' from `F1'.

The securities for Capital Markets, NIPSCO, and Columbia are removed from
Rating Watch Negative where they were placed following the merger agreement
between NiSource and Columbia. The Rating Outlook for all the rated
entities is Stable.

The above ratings reflect the upcoming acquisition of Columbia and the
establishment of the new NiSource holding company. NiSource will fund the
transaction with approximately $3.9 billion in cash from its acquisition
bank facility and asset sale proceeds, $1.76 billion of NiSource common
stock, and $106 million proceeds from a zero-coupon debt instrument with a
four-year forward equity contract (SAILS). Assets recently sold and those
targeted to be divested by year-end 2000 should generate total after-tax
proceeds of nearly $1.4 billion. Advances under the bank facility, which
are expected to total $2.57 billion after current assets sales, will be
refinanced through the issuance of long-term debt and commercial paper by
Finance Corp.

Fitch has reviewed the prospective financing plans and business strategies
for NiSource and has considered this information in assigning the ratings.
A further credit consideration is the structural subordination of NiSource,
Finance Corp., and Capital Markets to the cash flow and debt of its primary
subsidiaries, including, NIPSCO and Columbia. Based on its analysis of
corporate structure and inter-company cash flow, Fitch considers credit
ratings for NiSource, Finance Corp., and Capital Markets to rank equally,
although there are technical differences between the support agreement
NiSource provides Capital Markets and the guarantee it provides Finance
Corp.

A positive rating consideration for NiSource has been the reduction in
transactional risk in recent months with the favorable execution of non-
core asset sales at NiSource and Columbia. In addition, NiSource's ongoing
consolidated business risk is lowered with the sale of its less-
predictable propane, independent power, high-deliverabilty gas storage, and
energy marketing operations.

Following the merger, NiSource will be the holding company for Columbia,
NIPSCO, and several other operating companies. After planned asset sales,
nearly 90% of NiSource's cash flow will be generated by its low-risk gas
distribution, gas transmission, and integrated electric operations. Each of
its major state and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulated
companies exhibits a solid credit profile and positive competitive
operating characteristics. Furthermore, the largest remaining non-
regulated business, oil and gas exploration and production, is
conservatively managed with commodity price exposure minimized though
aggressive hedging. Based on its analysis of future operations, Fitch has
found projected quantitative credit measures for NiSource to be consistent
with its `BBB+' and `F2' ratings.

The rating affirmation for NIPSCO is primarily based on its strong
standalone credit profile and positive operating characteristics.
Furthermore, it is anticipated that NIPSCO will only dividend up free cash
flow after capital spending is funded. As a result, credit measures at
NIPSCO are expected to remain consistently strong. Longer-term credit
concerns incorporated in NIPSCO's ratings include the yet to be determined
path to utility deregulation in Indiana and potential costly environmental
compliance for its primarily coal-fired generation.

The one notch downgrade in ratings at Columbia reflects the substantial new
NiSource debt required to fund the transaction and the credit implications
of the post-merger holding company. Columbia's standalone credit measures
are consistent with its prior `A/F1' ratings. However, Fitch has determined
that given its business mix and operating startegy, Columbia will not
benefit from the same degree of regulatory `ring fencing' provided to
NIPSCO in Indiana. Therefore, debt ratings for Columbia have been converged
toward those for NiSource. Furthermore, Columbia's operations, particularly
its interstate pipelines, will be functionally tied to the natural gas
activities now housed at NiSource.


OWENS CORNING: Judge Walrath Blesses Centralized Cash Management System
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
In the United States, money generally comes into Owens Corning via
lockboxes maintained at Bank One, Mellon Bank, NA, SunTrust Banks, Inc.,
Commerce Bank N.A., Chase Manhattan Bank, and U.S. Bank. Those lockbox
accounts are swept on a daily basis and the funds are transferred to a
Concentration Account at Bank of New York. Funds from those local bank and
lockbox accounts are then electronically swept into concentration accounts
at Toronto Dominion and First Chicago. Funds accumulated in those
Concentration Accounts are then downstreamed, as needed, to fund various
disbursement accounts. Fibraboard maintains a similar system where funds
are concentrated at Wells Fargo Bank and then swept into Owens Corning's
Concentration Account.

By this Motion, the Debtors seek the Court's authority to keep that system
in place.

Michael H. Thaman, Chief Financial Officer for Owens Corning, explains that
the Cash Management System has been in place for years and is beneficial
because:

    (1) it reduces interest expenses by minimizing short-term borrowing;

    (2) the Debtors have the ability to tightly control corporate funds,
        invest idle cash, and ensure cash availability; and

    (3) it reduces administrative costs by facilitating the movement of
        funds and the development of more timely and accurate cash balance
        information.

Moreover, Mr. Thaman explains, creation of a new cash management system
would be time consuming, extremely expensive, and extremely disruptive to
the Debtors' operations. Mr. Thaman cannot estimate how long it might take
to institute an alternative cash management system.

Mr. Thaman assures the Court that the Consolidated Cash Management System
enables the Company to trace the flow of funds between each debtor and non-
debtor entity and that a bright line can be drawn to segregate pre-petition
and post-petition transactions.

Judge Walrath granted the Debtors' Motion in all respects.

Additionally, all Intercompany Transactions between Owens Corning, its
debtor-affiliates and its non-debtor affiliates will be accorded
superpriority status, with priority over any and all administrative
expenses of the kind specified in 11 U.S.C. Secs. 503(b) and 507(b),
subject and subordinate only to the priorities, liens, claims and security
interests, if any, granted under any debtor-in-possession financing
facility to which the Debtors become party and other valid liens. (Owens-
Corning Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 2; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
609/392-0900)


PARAGON TRADE: Announces Appointment of David C. Nicholson As New CFO
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Paragon Trade Brands, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: PGTR) announced that David
C. Nicholson has been appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Financial
Officer. Mr. Nicholson joins Paragon from Norcross-based Rock-Tenn Company
where since 1983 he has held increasingly responsible positions. Most
recently he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.
During his tenure with Rock-Tenn he rose from Director of Mergers and
Acquisitions, to Controller, to Vice President and Treasurer prior to being
appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 1987. Prior
to joining Rock-Tenn Mr. Nicholson served as Audit Manager and Computer
Audit Specialist at Arthur Young & Company (now Ernst and Young) in
Atlanta.

Commenting on Mr. Nicholson's appointment, Paragon Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer Michael Riordan noted, "We are pleased to announce that
David Nicholson has joined Paragon as Senior Vice President and Chief
Financial Officer. With more than 23 years of both domestic and
international experience and an outstanding record of achievement in both
the public accounting and corporate financial management sectors, Dave
brings with him the professional and team building skills that we believe
will further strengthen Paragon's top management ranks. Paragon has
experienced a dramatic turnaround since its emergence from Chapter 11
earlier this year and we believe that Dave's joining Paragon will further
enhance our efforts toward continuing the growth and expansion of our
business."

Mr. Nicholson is a graduate of the University of Georgia in Athens. He is
active in a number of civic and professional organizations, serving as a
board member and former Chairman of the Gwinnett County Chamber of
Commerce, a board member and former President of the Gwinnett County Boys &
Girls Clubs and a member of the Atlanta chapter of the National Investor
Relations Institute, along with several other affiliations.

Paragon Trade Brands is the leading manufacturer of store brand infant
disposable diapers in the United States and, through its wholly owned
subsidiary, Paragon Trade Brands (Canada) Inc., is the leading marketer of
store brand infant disposable diapers in Canada. Paragon manufactures a
line of premium and economy diapers and training pants, which are
distributed throughout the United States and Canada, primarily through
grocery and food stores, mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs, toy stores
and drug stores that market the products under their own store brand names.

Through its international joint ventures, Paragon is also a leading
supplier of infant disposable diapers and other absorbent personal care
products in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and China.


PHYSICIANS RESOURCE: Presses for Release of Insurance Policy Proceeds
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Physicians Resource Group, Inc. and EyeCorp, Inc., debtors and former
officers and directors, Richard J. D'Amico, Richard M. Owen and Emmett E.
Moore file a joint motion directing the insurer to distribute up to $5
million on policy proceeds. The insurer under three policies purchased by
the debtors is National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. The
policy limits total $50 million. The movants ask the company to distribute
$3.6 million under the Policies.

The debtor is an insure beneficiary under the policies with respect to
"Securities Claims" as that term is defined in the policies and claims
brought against directors and officers for which the debtor has indemnified
the directors and officers.

The debtor is a defendant in various lawsuits that qualify as "Securities
Claims" under the policies. In addition, the former Officers and Directors
have been sued in certain lawsuits whose allegations fall within the scope
of coverage under the policies.

Periodically, the debtor made demand against the insurer for payment of
both the amount the debtor had paid on behalf of the former officers and
directors and the amounts the debtor had incurred in its own defense.

As of the date this motion was filed, the Insurer had a paid a total of
approximately $1.43 million. The Insurer now takes the position that,
absent an authorizing order from the Bankruptcy Court, it will not make any
distribution of funds.

At this point, the debtors point out, there is no shortage, but the
additional $3.56 million will still leave a substantial amount of
unconsumed insurance.


PRIME RETAIL: Berger & Montague Commences Shareholder Class Action Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The following notice is issued by the law firm of Berger & Montague, P.C.
who, on behalf of its client, filed a lawsuit on October 27, 2000 in the
United States District Court for the District of Maryland, on behalf of all
persons who purchased the common stock of Prime Retail, Inc. (NYSE: PRT)
during the period May 28, 1999 through and including January 18, 2000.

The complaint charges Prime Retail and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing false and misleading statements concerning the
Company's business and financial condition.  The complaint alleges that
Prime Retail assured its investors throughout the Class Period that it
would issue a dividend in its fourth quarter of 1999, even though it knew
that its deteriorating operations and debt-laden balance sheet would make
issuing a dividend impossible.  On January 18, 2000, Prime Retail announced
that it would suspend its common dividend for 2000 because of lowered
occupancy rates and cash shortage.  The value of Prime Retail's securities
declined sharply on the news of this announcement.

For additional information, contact Todd S. Collins, Esq., and Douglas M.
Risen, Esq., at Berger & Montague, P.C., at 215-875-3000.


SYNTHONICS TECHNOLOGIES: Files Chapter 11 Petition in California
----------------------------------------------------------------
Synthonics Technologies Inc. (OTCBB:SNNT) filed a voluntary petition for
reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of
California on October 23, 2000.

The filing will allow the company to continue business operations while it
formulates and obtains necessary approvals of its financial restructuring
plan. The filing was necessitated by a number of factors and disputes that
culminated in excessive litigation proceedings. As a result of today's
petition, Synthonics will be able to avail itself of the orderly processes
of the court to complete the reorganization and move forward with its
business operations.

"We would have preferred to continue operations without having to seek the
aid of the court, but the factors and disputes, followed by excessive
litigation, prevented that approach," said Charles Palm, acting chairman
and CEO of Synthonics. "The voluntary Chapter 11 filing will allow the
company to get on with business and address the issues in dispute in a more
orderly fashion."

"We expect to continue doing business with our customers and licensees
under normal business terms," said Palm. "I believe the market for
interactive 3D graphics for e-commerce applications is just now beginning
to develop and I further believe that Synthonics is well positioned to
capitalize on future growth, especially in areas related e-commerce and
mobile wireless Internet applications."


UNIVERSAL BROADBAND: Bankruptcy Filing Seen on the Horizon
----------------------------------------------------------
Eighty workers have been laid off without severance pay.  Shares in
Universal Broadband Networks Inc. have stopped trading.  Nortel, which
advanced $44 million in credit, has pulled its support from the company.
General Counsel Jeffrey Matsen representing UBNetworks tells The Orange
County Register that the company will announce its plans within this week,
fueling rumor that UBNetworks is considering a bankruptcy filing.


VDC COMMUNICATIONS: Auditors Expresses Doubt About Company's Viability
----------------------------------------------------------------------
VDC Communications, Inc. (Amex: VDC) announced that it is actively
exploring its business and strategic alternatives given its current
liquidity position.  As part of its fiscal-year-end June 30, 2000 audit,
VDC's auditors raised the issue of VDC's ability to continue as a "going
concern." VDC's current cash position is insufficient to either pay VDC's
monthly operating expenses for more than the next one month or support
VDC's business plan for the longer term.

VDC has been diligently exploring its alternatives to address these issues.
VDC's Board of Directors has approved a private placement as described
below. However, as is also described below, the proposed investors have not
yet provided a definitive commitment for the transaction (nor can there be
any assurance that they will complete such transaction). VDC's Board of
Directors has approved a private placement of an aggregate of $650,000 of
8% convertible senior debentures, which VDC expects would, to a limited
extent, fund operating losses. The debentures would mature three (3) years
from the date of issuance, accrue interest at the rate of 8% per annum
payable upon maturity and be prepayable, at VDC's discretion, at any time
upon thirty (30) days written notice. The principal amount of the
debentures and all accrued interest would be convertible in the investors'
discretion. The debentures would be secured by a first priority perfected
security interest on substantially all of the assets of VDC. The proposed
investors include Frederick A. Moran, VDC's Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer, and affiliates of Mr. Moran and family trusts associated with Mr.
Moran, and one non-affiliated investor. Any debentures issued to Mr. Moran
and affiliates of Mr. Moran and family trusts associated with Mr. Moran
would be convertible at $0.1875 per share, so long as such amount is not
less than the closing market price of VDC's common stock on the date the
transaction closes. Any debentures issued to the non-affiliated investor
would be convertible at $0.145 per share. VDC's use of any proceeds from
the debentures would be restricted to, among other things, advances to its
subsidiaries to pay operational expenses other than accounts payable
outstanding as of the date of issuance. A breach of this covenant would
constitute an event of default under the debentures and would, in the
investors' discretion, result in the immediate acceleration of VDC's
obligation to repay the debentures. VDC would agree to grant piggyback
registration rights to the purchasers of the debentures to include the
shares issuable upon conversion of the debentures in a registration
statement filed by VDC.

As referenced above, the investors in this transaction have not agreed to
complete the financing at this date and are awaiting certain conditions
prior to making their final investment determination. One condition is that
creditors accept final payments in an amount that is a fraction of current
payables. Due to certain regulatory rules and requirements, another
condition of the investors is a closing market price of VDC of $0.1875 or
below on the date of closing. Even if these certain conditions are met, the
investors have reserved the right not to complete the transaction in their
sole discretion. Other alternatives VDC is exploring include, but are not
limited to: significant cost cutting measures, which might impair VDC's
ability to grow revenues, debt or equity financing other than the approved
transaction, the sale of significant assets, and filing for bankruptcy
protection. VDC has already implemented certain cost cutting measures.

VDC is a facilities-based domestic and international telecommunications
company, providing domestic and international carrier services to retail
and wholesale customers. VDC has built a global network for the
transmission of telecommunications traffic through its New York City and
Los Angeles gateway sites. VDC has initiated the development of a global IP
network to deliver toll quality voice, facsimile and other value-added
services to both complement and transform its current network
configuration.


VENCOR, INC.: Stipulation With Meisner Electric For Relief From Stay
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Vencor, Inc., and Meisner Electric, Inc. of Florida agree and stipulate,
and have obtained Judge Walrath's stamp of approval for modification of the
automatic stay to permit Meisner Electric to institute suit in Florida
relating to lienable work and to enforce the Claim of Lien, and to permit
the filing of appropriate lis pendens notices.

Pursuant to a contract with Rovel Construction, Inc., Meisner Electric
alleges that it furnished, labor, materials, and/or services consisting of
electrical installation on real property located in Palm Beach County,
Florida, commonly known as 301 Northpoint Parkway, West Palm Beach, Florida
a/k/a Lot 15, 16, and 17 of Northpoint, PC#74-43-43.-06-l0-000-0150, 74-43-
43-06-l0-000-0160 and 74-43-43-06-10-000-0170 owned by the Debtors, but was
not paid in full for the lienable work at the Property.

Meisner Electric flied a Claim of Lien on November 3, 1999 and, pursuant to
section 713.22 Florida Statutes (1999), Meisner Electric is required to
institute suit and file appropriate notice of its pendens within one year
of the filing of the Claim of Lien in order to enforce its lien. (Vencor
Bankruptcy News, Issue No. 17; Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc.,
609/392-0900)


VIDEO UPDATE: Bank Group Objects to Use of Cash Collateral
----------------------------------------------------------
BNP Paribas, as lender and as agent for the secured lenders under that
certain Credit Agreement dated March 6, 1998 filed an objection to the
motion of the Video Update, Inc., et al. seeking authority to use cash
collateral.

The lenders claim that the debtors are attempting to deflect the court's
attention away from the inadequacy of their offer of adequate protection by
alleging contrary to the Loan Documents that the Bank group does not "have
a lien against the debtors' cash." The debtors assert that the new release
video products are licensed to and not owned by the debtors and thus never
become inventory subject to the Bank Group's liens; and the Bank Group does
not have "dominion and control" over the debtors' cash collateral account.
Thus, notwithstanding the Loan Documents, the debtors claim that the Bank
Group does not have an interest in the revenues generated from the rental
of video products. The Bank Group states that Bank Group is duly perfected
in virtually all assets of the debtors, including the revenues from the
debtors' operations postpetition. Accordingly, the debtors' offer of
adequate protection is inadequate and the requested use of cash collateral
should be denied.

In addition to periodic cash payments the Bank Group requests that the
debtors provide the Bank Group with periodic reports supplementing the
financial information provided under the monthly operating reports. The
Bank Group argues that their lien does attach to Rental Revenues, and that
the debtors' license, whether viewed as the right to view the Video
Products granted pursuant tot he customer contracts or the Revenue Sharing
Agreements, is a General Intangible specifically designated under the
Security Agreement. The Bank Group's lien in General Intangibles attaches
to the proceeds therefrom and includes a lien on the debtors' license to
sell limited rights to view the Video Products, and the sublicense of the
rights to sell to customers of the right to view the Video Products.

                                *********

Bond pricing, appearing in each Monday's edition of the TCR, is provided by
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For copies of court documents filed in the District of Delaware, please
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filed in cases pending outside the District of Delaware, contact Ken Troubh
at Nationwide Research & Consulting at 207/791-2852.

                               *********

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Copyright 2000. All rights reserved. ISSN 1520-9474.

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