Early Briefing: No More Dial-Up

*AOL is finally in a position to shed the dial-up-access business that once offered tens of millions of people their first glance at the Internet. In April, parent company Time Warner promised to make clear its plans for AOL's future by its second-quarter earnings call, scheduled for tomorrow. And it "won't disappoint," a source close to the situation said yesterday.


Jane Hwang had to hire a new contractor to finish her house. (By Dominic Bracco -- The Washington Post)

*Seville Homes, a small Virginia builder, collected hundreds of thousands in deposits in recent years for homes in Northern Virginia that it never delivered. There are foreclosure filings on 19 Seville properties, according to data collected by ForeclosurePoint, Among those are a Vienna house assessed at $1.2 million and a four-bedroom house in Annandale house assessed at $1 million. A $2.2 million five-bedroom home owned by Korfonta personally has also been in the foreclosure process, according to ForeclosurePoint.

The housing downturn that is setting foreclosure records, inflating the volume of homes for sale and dragging down prices has also created a cash crunch for new-home builders. Without the financial cushion to weather a slowdown, small builders such as Seville have stumbled and become overwhelmed with property they bought two or three years ago and now lack the funds to complete, analysts said.

*Six Flags, the troubled theme park company chaired by Washington Redskins majority owner Daniel Snyder, reported a second-quarter profit of $94.6 million, compared with a loss of $45.4 million, due largely to cost reductions and a one-time accounting gain on the retirement of debt.
Six Flags increased total revenue slightly compared with the same period last year, to $345.7 million, further evidence that rising gas prices and an economic slowdown have not damaged the theme park industry as experts had feared.

*Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring announced plans to build a 100-bed hospital in Germantown, a growing part of Montgomery County that has limited access to medical services. Holy Cross officials have filed a letter of intent with the Maryland Health Care Commission, which will decide whether the plan can move forward. Hospital officials say they hope to open the facility by 2012, but details such as cost and the types of services still must be worked out. They also plan to open a clinic for obstetrics and gynecology in Germantown.

By Terri Rupar  |  August 5, 2008; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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