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Wegmans...the Musical!

What is it about Wegmans? The Rochester-based grocer doesn't take long to make an impression, that's for sure.

Wegmans

Northborough, Mass., got its first Wegmans supermarket just last fall, but already, the advanced drama class at the town's Algonquin Regional High School has written and performed a musical about it.

Wegmans officials have said they are flattered by the attention and recently gave the school a small thank you.

"This morning, Bill Congdon made a special visit to the drama class at Algonquin Regional High School. The New England division manager for Wegmans Food Markets was there to thank the class for its recent performance of 'Wegmans … the Musical'.

Wegmans

In addition to bringing bagels and cream cheese, donuts, and juice, Congdon surprised everyone at the school by presenting a one-time scholarship certificate of $1,000. 'The students did such a fantastic job of learning about our company, observing what we do, and then telling the story on stage. We wanted them to know that we appreciate their hard work and are honored that they chose us as their subject,' said Congdon," reads a press release on the company's Web site.
Seriously? After all that, they throw the kids some bagels? You'd think they'd at least get a sushi platter or something. And a $1,000 scholarship? That ought to cover a graphing calculator or two. The story of this school's musical, which was like a live-action love letter to the company, got picked up by every news outlet from CNBC to Huffington Post. You can't buy that kind of publicity.

Here are some highlights from the show which, by all reports, was a resounding success.

 

Buffalo Place concerts a success, UAW hears contract details and Travers Collins expands

From Business Today:

CentralWharf

Buffalo Place's summer concert series at the Buffalo waterfront brought in $1.5 million.

That's up 35 percent over what was expected and $405,101 more than its own projections. The success was attributed to its move from Lafayette Square to the Central Wharf and the summer's great weather, as compared to last year's rainy season.

GeorgeHill

The United Auto Workers Local 774 will meet Monday about an upcoming contract vote. Members will hear the details of a tentative contract the UAW reached with General Motors before they are scheduled to vote on it next week.

GM's Tonawanda plant, which employs 800 workers, is getting a boost from the addition of two new engine lines. The four-year pact would add or keep 6,400 jobs in the U.S. and offer buyouts to longtime workers. Most workers won't get annual pay raises, but will get at least $12,500 in bonuses, profit sharing and other payments over the life of the contract.

BillCollins

 Travers Collins has opened a new office in Rochester. The advertising and public relations firm has parterned with Rochester-based PR veteran Mike McDougall to open McDougall Travers Collins. Collins said he had been wanting to break into the Rochester market for 10 years. He hopes McDougall's local and global contacts will bring new clients from Rochester and around the world.

 

Who is getting hired, promoted and honored?

Today is the first day of fall. Let's celebrate with the Kinks:

 

The superstars come out

   The superstars of business get big play in today's Buffalo News Business Today section.

- CDs, video game reignites Beatlemania
   It's been nearly 40 years since John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr announced their breakup, but the new game and discs caused a worldwide buzz as the Beatles returned to the top of the charts in Britain, the land where it all began.

- Steve Jobs returns to the stage at AppleImback
    SAN FRANCISCO — Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs returned Wednesday to the showman role that has helped define his company leadership, taking the stage for the first time since his medical leave to announce such new products as an iPod Nano that records video. [Video of Jobs' presentation is here.] 
   Jobs, who had a liver transplant this spring from a young adult who died in a car accident, got a vigorous standing ovation from many in the audience.
   Looking thin and speaking quietly and with a scratchy voice, the 54-year-old CEO urged everyone to become organ donors.
   “I wouldn’t be here without such generosity,” Jobs said.
   [In Silicon Valley, what Jobs says and does is really big news, as today's San Jose MercNews P.1 shows.]

- BNE cites 19 ‘wins’ despite tough economy
    Buffalo Niagara Enterprise is reporting 19 project “wins” from its fiscal year ended June 30, down just one from the year before. [Report is here.] 
   The 19 wins consist of 810 pledged new jobs and 544 retained jobs, for a combined total of 1,354 jobs, BNE officials said. The projects add up to a pledged investment of $336.8 million, a figure dominated by the $300 million associated with a Yahoo! data center planned for Niagara County.

And, oh, yeah, the Fed says the recession is sort of over.

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News