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• The US House of Representatives voted over the weekend to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 over the next three years; it has been $5.15 since 1997. The same bill includes an elimination of the estate tax for estates that smaller than $5 million, or $10 million for married couples; the estate tax would be tiered for larger estates.

However, the bill now goes to the Senate for consideration, where experts say it could have a rougher time.

• Last Thursday, MNB reported that Supervalu intended to convert some of the Southern California stores that it acquired from Albertsons back to the Lucky banner that was abandoned by the old Albertsons regime. This decision puts a new spin on the court battle currently taking place over the Lucky name, which Grocery Outlet started to use in northern California – saying that Albertsons had lost its rights to the tradename because it essentially abandoned it for more than three years.

It now is reported that Supervalu also plans to open two new Lucky stores in Las Vegas next month, and will use the banner in other locations where appropriate.

Assuming, of course, that the continuing legal battle works out in Supervalu’s favor. For the moment, the US District Court in San Francisco has sided with Albertsons argument that it never intended to abandon the Lucky brand, Grocery Outlet has covered up the “Lucky” banner on the Rocklin store, though it has said that it intends to file an appeal.

• The Miller Brewing Co. has promised to spend as much as $80 million to bring its Milwaukee brewery up to date, and the state of Wisconsin has pledged $1.25 million in tax credits to aid in the effort. The goal of the state initiative is to keep more than six hundred manufacturing positions from leaving the state.

Reuters reports that an increase in wheat prices this year is going to cause an increase in some cereal prices, with Kellogg Co. saying it will raise the price of some of its cereals by two percent. Nabisco says it has no plans to raise cereal prices at the moment, and General Mills isn’t commenting.

• The Wall Street Journal reports on the new popularity of mozzarella, which “is pushing its way up the food chain.” Mozzarella bars are coming into vogue, and chefs who use it treat mozzarella with reverence.

But here’s something that may be a surprise: Connoisseurs say mozzarella should be eaten at room temperature within 48 hours after it's made
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