Early Briefing: The Back Story

* They once were fierce rivals; now they are teaming up: Healthy Back, a Lorton company that sells ergonomic home and office products, has bought the assets of competitor, Beltsville-based JoAnne's Bed & Back, out of bankruptcy.

Healthy Back bought the inventory of its rival Friday for $600,000 and assumed leases on eight buildings, as well as guaranteeing the delivery of $150,000 worth of furniture to JoAnne's customers.

* The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed civil lawsuits against eight former America Online executives, accusing them of participating in illegal accounting practices that inflated the online giant's reported revenue by more than $1 billion.

Former chief financial officers John Michael Kelly and Joseph A. Ripp, as well as several leaders of the company's dealmaking business affairs unit, were among those charged. Four of the executives agreed to settle with the agency for about $8 million, including David M. Colburn, former head of business affairs, who agreed to pay $4 million.

All four who settled agreed to do so without admitting or denying the allegations against them.

* Staff writer Annys Shin visits with the CSI team of the dinner table: The 22 chemists, microbiologists and food science experts who work for the Grocery Manufacturers of America, a Washington trade group that represents food companies such as Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup and General Mills.

GMA's members turn to the group's in-house forensics experts when they receive a complaint about an eyelash in a pot pie or a bug in a can of stew. The team of scientists, led by lab director Jeffrey Barach and GMA senior counsel David J. Herman, are tasked with figuring out whether the company is dealing with a prank, an innocent mistake, a production error or sabotage.

* Supporters of a tunnel for the Tysons Corner portion of a Metrorail extension to Dulles International Airport vowed to fight on, even as they acknowledged the overwhelming odds against changing the aerial design of the project.

More than 100 tunnel supporters gathered at a McLean restaurant to raise money for tysonstunnel.org, a grass-roots organization that has led opposition to the elevated-track design awaiting approval for federal funding. They were joined by state Sen. J. Chapman "Chap" Petersen (D-Fairfax), Fairfax County Supervisor John W. Foust (D-Dranesville) and two Democratic congressional candidates in the 11th District, Leslie L. Byrne and Doug Denneny.

By Dan Beyers  |  May 20, 2008; 6:51 AM ET
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

I was impressed with Doug Denneny. He seemed to be the only candidate there who is absolutely committed to the tunnel option.

Posted by: UnderNotOver | May 20, 2008 1:16 PM

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