Belk hosting Kids Day

at area locations

TUPELO - Belk is playing host to "Kid's Day" at its stores in Tupelo, Corinth and Columbus today.

In Tupelo, the event will feature a coloring contest and a drawing for mom. Also, special appearances are scheduled by the Tupelo Fire Department, the Mudcat Kittens and several Mudcat football players, the Easter Bunny and Mr. Belkie Bear.

The Lee County Sheriff's Department also will fingerprint children.

The store will provide drinks, cookie and candy as well.

Shipbuilder asks strikers:

What do you want?

PASCAGOULA Officials with Northrop Grumman Ship Systems are asking striking workers at the Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula what they want in a new contract.

While still arguing the deal turned down by workers was a good one, the shipbuilder sent a letter Thursday to union representatives asking that striking workers spell out what they want before talks would resume.

Union representatives said Thursday that they are awaiting the results of a union survey before responding to the company.

Officials with the Pascagoula Metal Trades Council said they plan to collect the surveys through today, then have a meeting Monday to review the information. The goal is to come up with a proposal based on that data.

Nissan boss Ghosn

gives up U.S. role

TOKYO - Carlos Ghosn, the charismatic chief executive who led Nissan to a turnaround, will give up his role overseeing its U.S. operations as part of a shake-up to strengthen management at the Japanese automaker, the company said Friday.

Ghosn remains CEO of both Nissan Motor Co., Japan's No. 3 automaker, and its alliance partner Renault SA of France, which sent in Ghosn to lead the revival in 1999.

Hiroto Saikawa, executive vice president and a purchasing expert with extensive experience in Europe, will take on the role overseeing the U.S. market, including the assembly plant in Canton.

Nissan officials denied the move was in response to criticism that Ghosn had spread himself too thin, holding the helm at both Nissan and Renault, as well being responsible for the U.S. market. Ghosn will continue to oversee global operations, and the changes are aimed at allowing for more focus on each region, they said.

Kirkland's 4Q sales rise;

posts loss for the year

JACKSON, Tenn. - Kirkland's Inc. said its net sales for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 3 rose 9.2 percent to $167.5 million compared to the same period a year ago. However, comparable store sales for the period dropped 6.1 percent, steeper than the 5 percent decrease recorded a year earlier.

Net income for the quarter was $11.4 million, compared to $10.1 million a year ago.

For the year, net sales increased 7.6 percent to $446.8 million. Comparable store sales decreased 6.6 percent, compared with a 6.9 percent decrease in the prior-year period.

The company posted a net loss of about $100,000 for the year. Last year, it eked out a $200,000 profit.

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