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Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Friday, July 21, 2000

Honolulu Airport to test electric tram

Honolulu Airport next year will test an electric tram, which could replace the existing diesel-driven Wikiwiki shuttles.

Torrance, Calif.-based Enova Systems, a specialist in emission-free vehicles, will deliver a demonstration unit in January, under a $500,000 contract to the Hawaii Electric Vehicle Demonstration Project.

The tram, consisting of a powered car and two trailers, will be operated by Airport Group International, which runs the Wikiwiki system. The low-floor, air-conditioned vehicle will hold up to 100 people.

Tom Quinn, director of the electric vehicle demonstration project, said the cost is coming from federal funds and Enova itself will invest considerably more than $500,000 in its own engineering development work for the project.

Firm offers to buy ailing

AUSTIN, Texas -- Shares of jumped 54.5 percent today after a closely held company offered to merge with the cash-strapped health-care Web site operator., co-founded by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, rose 56 cents to close at $1.59. Earlier, the shares reached $2.

Closely held MillenniumHealth Communications Inc., a Reston, Va.-based company that provides online news and a marketplace for buying and selling medical products, did not disclose terms of the proposed deal. Auditors warned in March that Austin, Texas-based, which provides health information to other Web sites, was running out of money and might have trouble staying in business.

In other news . . .

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Internet shoppers spent $4.02 billion in June as they bought more electronics, toys and sporting goods for Father's Day and graduation gifts, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation and Forrester Research Inc. Sales rose 19 percent from $3.38 billion in May, according to index. The average amount spent by Web consumers rose 16 percent to $288 in June from $249 a month earlier, the survey said.

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