Business In Brief - August 10, 2007

Apryl Heil joins accounting firm

FORT MILL -- Apryl Heil has joined Robert Palmer & Associates as a senior accountant.

Heil has more than eight years of experience. Her primary responsibility will be tax preparation.

Robert Palmer & Associates is a full-service accounting firm for small business clients, providing consultation, bookkeeping, tax and payroll services. The company is located at 1171 Market St. For more information call 547-7066 or visit the Web site www.robertpalmerand

Michael Komar joins S.C. Bank and Trust

COLUMBIA -- Michael Komar has been named general auditor and senior vice president of South Carolina Bank and Trust, according to a written statement from the company.

A native of Rock Hill, Komar earned a bachelor's degree in finance and an master's degree in business administration from Winthrop University. He also is a graduate of the Bank Administration Institute's School for Bank Administration, where he was an audit major.

Komar received a chairman's award for outstanding service in the area of internal audit management.

An active member of the community, he serves on the board for the Institute of Internal Auditors Palmetto Chapter and the stewardship committee for St. John's Episcopal Church.

Scarowinds auditions going on this month

FORT MILL -- Auditions for Scarowinds will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 17 and 18 and Aug. 24 and 25.

Scarowinds, Carowinds' Halloween-themed attraction, is looking for nearly 300 monsters, three times what it usually needs. Carowinds also is hiring for rides, games, food and beverage.

Applicants may apply online at Auditions are necessary only for "Creeper Corps" positions. Auditions will be held at the Carowinds Employment Office on Catawba Trace Boulevard.

For information, call 1-800-888-4386, Ext. 2883. Persons must be at least 16 years old by Sept. 29 to apply.

Two join Coldwell Banker in Lancaster

LANCASTER -- Michael Jennings, Jr. and Felicia Pridgeon have joined the Lancaster office of Coldwell Banker United, Realtors.

Coldwell Banker United, Realtors, Carolinas Region has 17 offices in the region, including Rock Hill, Lancaster and Fort Mill.

U.S. distributor recalls 255,000 Chinese tires

A New Jersey tire distributor on Thursday recalled 255,000 defective Chinese tires as concerns grow over the safety of Chinese goods.

Foreign Tire Sales of Union, N.J., said the tires lack a safety feature called a "gum strip," a wedge of rubber that fits between steel belts in tires to make them more durable.

The tires were sold from early 2004 to mid-2006 as replacements for use on sport-utility vehicles, pickup trucks and vans. They were sold under the brand names Westlake, Compass and YKS.

The defect came to light in Philadelphia last year when a rear tire on a cargo van blew apart and wrapped around the axle, flipping the van.

into a sideways slide. Two people were killed and a third person was injured.

Foreign Tire Sales blamed Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber, China's second-largest tire manufacturer. Foreign Tire said the Chinese company changed the design of the tire without the U.S. company's knowledge. The companies are in a legal battle over the issue.

In a written statement, Hangzhou Zhongce said it has not found evidence that the tires at issue contain any structural defects or are missing any safety features.

Vehicle-safety advocates blamed NHTSA. Robert Schull, Public Citizen's deputy director of auto safety and regulatory policy, said the agency's early-warning defect database should have raised a red flag. He said NHTSA has resisted some public disclosure because it treats some data as confidential business information that is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

"They want to be able to continue to sit on their hands when information is presented to them and not be accountable to the public," Schull said.

NHTSA spokesman Rae Tyson said, "There was nothing in the early-warning data submissions that suggested any sort of safety issues with those tires."

More information about the tire recall can be found at

About 1,100 were sold in Virginia.

Fax news to Annette Cherry at 329-4021; mail The Herald, Business News, P.O. 11707, Rock Hill, SC 29731; call 909-4209; or e-mail