WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 23, 1995 -- href="chap11.columbia.html">The Columbia Gas
        System, Inc.
, (NYSE: CG) announced today its intent to sell
        Gas Development Corporation, its wholly owned southwest U.S. oil and
        gas exploration and production subsidiary.

            Columbia Gas Development, headquartered in Houston, Texas, has
        in excess of 200 billion cubic feet equivalent of proved oil and
        natural gas reserves located in the Gulf of Mexico and on-shore
        continental United States.

            "With innovations like market hubs, futures trading and the
        application of information technology in natural gas markets, the
        strategic value to Columbia of drilling for oil and gas in the
        Southwest has diminished," said Oliver G. "Rick" Richard III,
        Chairman and CEO. "We would rather use our capital in the future to
        expand the use of these technologies and new market mechanisms to
        meet our customers' ever-diversifying needs."

            Columbia said it expects to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of
        the year.  "As Columbia emerges from bankruptcy, we have an
        opportunity to redefine ourselves strategically.  We are employing
        value-added criteria to assist us in this process.  Southwest oil
        and gas exploration doesn't serve our customer base as well as other
        priorities.  Consequently, Columbia needs to focus its energies and
        capital expenditures elsewhere."

            Columbia does not expect to leave the E & P business entirely
        since it will retain ownership of Columbia Natural Resources, Inc.,
        an exploration and production company located in the Appalachian
        area. "Columbia Natural Resources' production is much closer to our
        customers and is spread across our principal pipeline company 7/8s
        service territory," noted Richard.  "We see a better strategic fit
        between Columbia Natural Resources and the rest of Columbia's

            Columbia Gas has retained the investment banking firm of Salomon
        Brothers Inc. to advise it in connection with the possible sale.

            The Columbia Gas System, Inc., is one of the nation's largest
        natural gas systems.  Its  subsidiaries are engaged in all aspects
        of the natural gas market, from  production through the  storage,
        transmission, and distribution of natural gas, as well as the
        generation of electricity. Columbia Gas serves, directly or
        indirectly, more than eight million energy users in 15 states and
        the District of Columbia.

        /CONTACT:  H.W. Chaddock, 302-429-5261, or  W.R. McLaughlin,
        302-429-5443, or (financial), T.L. Hughes, 302-429-5363, or K.P.
        302-429-5471, all of Columbia Gas/


            COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 23, 1995 -- Drug Emporium, Inc.
        (Nasdaq: DEMP) announced today that it has reached an agreement to
        acquire 18 of the F&M Distributors,
stores in Detroit,
        Michigan, and four F&M stores in Baltimore, Maryland. The agreement
        is subject to approval of the bankruptcy court where F&M's case is
        being supervised.

            David L. Kriegel, Drug Emporium's chairman and chief executive
        officer, said, "This is a unique opportunity to combine these F&M's
        stores with Drug Emporium's buying power and systems.  The Detroit
        stores will be operated under the F&M name which has a tradition
        that goes back 40 years and we expect these stores to contribute to
        earnings after the first full year of operation."  He noted that the
        transaction involves an estimated purchase price of $39 million,
        financed through internal cash sources and bank borrowing, and that
        the actual number of stores to be operated depends upon lease

            Mr. Kriegel added, "We are excited to be able to grow our store
        base and to add Detroit to our national presence.  We believe our
        new customers will be pleased with our strong dedication to
        providing low- cost pharmacy prescriptions, wide acceptance of
        prescription plans, great selection of health and beauty aids and
        low prices."

            Drug Emporium, Inc., is a national chain of 117 company-owned
        stores specializing in competitively priced health and beauty aids,
        cosmetics, greeting cards and prescription drugs. The company also
        franchises an additional 94 Drug Emporium stores.

        /CONTACT:  Timothy S. McCord, CFO, Drug Emporium, Inc.,
        614-548-7080, ext. 207 or Investor Relations, 614-548-7080, ext.


            WARREN, Mich., Oct. 23, 1995 -- F & M
Distributors, Inc.
        a debtor in possession, today announced it has reached an agreement
        to sell to Drug Emporium, Inc. (Nasdaq-NNM: DEMP) the assets of
        twenty-three (23) F & M stores located in the Detroit, Michigan and
        Baltimore, Maryland metropolitan areas.  The sale is subject to U.S.
        Bankruptcy Court approval in early November.

            After consummation of the sale, F & M will operate thirty-four
        (34) super drugstores located in the Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit and
        Washington D.C. metropolitan areas.  The Company will continue to
        seek purchasers for the remainder of these business operations.

            F & M is operating and managing its business as a debtor in
        possession under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.
        The Chapter 11 reorganization case was commenced by the Company on
        December 5, 1994.

        Stores To Be Sold To Drug Emporium

        ..  280 W. Nine Mile, Ferndale, Mich.
        ..  30777 Gratiot Ave., Roseville, Mich.
        ..  13555 Eureka Rd., Southgate, Mich.
        ..  13505 Middlebelt Rd., Livonia, Mich.
        ..  22200 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, Mich.
        ..  27690 Van Dyke, Warren, Mich.
        ..  1260 Rochester Rd., Rochester Hills, Mich.
        ..  1700 Dix Ave., Lincoln Park, Mich.
        ..  30100 Grand River Ave., Farmington Hills, Mich.
        ..  18859 E. Nine Mile Rd., Eastpointe, Mich.
        ..  3533 N. Woodward, Royal Oak, Mich.
        ..  1403 Merritt Blvd., Dundalk, Md.
        ..  801 Goucher Blvd., Towson, Md.
        ..  6501 Baltimore Nat'l Pike, Baltimore, Md.
        ..  570 Baltimore Pike, Bel Air, Md.
        ..  7317 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie, Md.
        ..  2105 S. Telegraph Rd., Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
        ..  288 John R., Troy, Mich.
        ..  29088 Southfield Rd., Southfield, Mich.
        ..  31005 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills, Mich.
        ..  35715 Warren Rd., Westland, Mich.
        ..  14545 Racho Rd., Taylor, Mich.
        ..  35630 Van Dyke, Sterling Heights, Mich.

        /CONTACT:  Laura Kendall, Chief Financial Officer of F & M,
        810-758-1400, Ext. 251/

The Hastings Group, Inc. Files Voluntary Chapter 11

            CHICAGO, Illinois--October 23, 1995--href="chap11.hastings.html">The Hastings Group,
today announced that, due to the sustained downturn in the
        men's tailored clothing business, it has filed a voluntary petition
        for protection under chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code.  The
        filing, which was made in the U.S.  Bankruptcy Court for the
        District of Delaware in Wilmington, will enable Hastings to maximize
        the value of the company for its creditors.  

            Based in Chicago, The Hastings Group, Inc. owns and operates a
        chain of 50 retail stores in 19 states which sell an upscale line of
        men's and women's tailored clothing and sportswear.  The company was
        recently acquired by CHJ Acquisition Co., a private investor group.

            Hastings intends to use the chapter 11 process to significantly
        pare down its operations through substantial cost-cutting measures,
        including staff reductions at the corporate and store levels and
        closures of some store locations.  In addition, the company may sell
        a small core of profitable locations.  

            "As a result of the extremely difficult conditions in the retail
        industry nationwide, particularly in the men's tailored clothing
        business, we have concluded that a voluntary chapter 11 filing is in
        the best interest of the company and its creditors,"  said Michael
        Zaccaro, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Hastings Group.
        The Hastings Group, Inc. acquired its stores from HSSI, Incorporated
        in August 1994.  At the time of the acquisition, HSSI was itself
        involved in chapter 11 proceedings pending in the U.S. Bankruptcy
        Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  

            "When Hastings acquired the stores last year, we recognized that
        a turnaround would be a difficult task inasmuch as the business had
        suffered several years of contraction and a serious erosion of its
        customer base," Mr. Zaccaro said.  "Nonetheless, we were confident
        that with new management, a fresh infusion of capital, and 18 months
        to two years of hard work, the business could be revitalized either
        on a stand-alone basis or in combination with another business.  

            "Unfortunately, the loss of customer support proved to be
        greater than anticipated and the protracted recession in the apparel
        industry prevented us from rebuilding our customer base to viable

        CONTACT:  Michael Freitag or
                  Adam Weiner,
                  Kekst and Company
                  (212) 593-2655


            TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 23, 1995 -- href="chap11.wherehouse.html">Wherehouse
        Entertainment, Inc.
, operating as a debtor in possession under
        Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, announced today that the
        full $30 million revolving credit facility arranged earlier in the
        month with Bankers Trust Company was approved by the Bankruptcy
        Court at the previously announced hearing held October 19, 1995.  As
        previously reported, the Bankruptcy Court had earlier issued an
        Interim Order authorizing borrowings of up to $15 million pending
        approval of the full facility amount now in place.

            "We are pleased with having concluded this financing
        arrangement. The Court's action in approving availability of the
        full facility will now enable us to further continue our progress in
        arranging open credit terms with our many suppliers," said Henry Del
        Castillo, Chief Financial Officer.

            Wherehouse Entertainment Inc., a major prerecorded home
        entertainment and software retailer, operates 317 stores in Arizona,
        California, Colorado, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah and

        /CONTACT:  Henry Del Castillo, SVP and CFO of Wherehouse,
        310-538-2314, ext. 2350/


Vendors given until Dec. 1, 1995 to file
        claims in Orange County bankruptcy

          Vendors from Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and
           Orange counties must file a Proof of Claim

        o  Vendors with questions should call 714/540-5351

            SANTA ANA, Calif.--Oct. 23, 1995--Vendor
        companies seeking to recover money owed them by bankrupt href="">Orange
have been given a Dec. 1, 1995 deadline to file a Proof of
        Claim.  Claims not submitted by that time may be forfeited.

            A "vendor company"  is a business or individual that provided
        goods and/or services to the County of Orange prior to its
        bankruptcy filing.  According to Mary Ann Schulte, chair of the
        vendors subcommittee, companies from Los Angeles, Riverside, San
        Bernardino, San Diego and Orange counties are impacted by the
        bankruptcy and need to fill out the Proof of Claim form sent to them
        by Orange County.  

            Even if they have previously sent in a claim, vendors should use
        the County claim forms because they include creditor numbers the
        County will use to cross-reference through its accounting system.  

            More than 50,000 Proof of Claim forms were mailed by the County
        in an effort to reach all vendors.  The quantity has resulted in
        some vendors receiving more than one.

            Vendors should include copies of invoices and any other type of
        proof that substantiates the amount of their claim.  They can either
        personally deliver the claim to the United States Bankruptcy Clerk
        (located at 34 Civic Center Plaza, Room 506, Santa Ana), or mail it
        via certified mail to:  Clerk, United States Bankruptcy Court, 34
        Civic Center Plaza, Room 506, Santa Ana, Calif. 92701.

            Vendors should include an extra copy of their completed Proof of
        Claim form and request a "conformed" copy, which means a photo copy
        that is dated and marked "FILED" by the court clerk and then
        returned to the claimant.  If mailing the claim, provide a self-
        addressed, stamped envelope.

            Schulte said other details involved in filing a Proof of Claim
        can be confusing, including vendor classification, documents that
        should accompany the claim and changes in original claim amounts.
        For more information or detailed instructions, vendors should call
        Mary Ann Schulte at 714/540-5351.

        CONTACT:  Sukut Construction,
                  Mary Ann Schulte, 714/540-5351
                  Laer Pearce & Associates,
                  Randee Lennertz, 714/753-1111