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• The Cincinnati Business Courier reports that Kroger is saying that “it will no longer be able to take a certain tax deduction as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, impacting its 2010 tax expense.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it won’t be able to deduct expenses it incurs to provide prescription drug coverage to retired employees, which are reimbursed under the Medicare Part D retiree drug subsidy program. Kroger said it now expects its fiscal 2010 tax expense to be about $1.5 million to $2 million higher than normal.”

• The New York Times reports that Bumble Bee Foods is closing down the last sardine cannery in the United States - in Prospect Harbor, Maine - because of what it calls the “federal regulations that have reduced the amount of Atlantic herring, sardines before processing, that can be hauled from the sea.”

The story notes that “once a thriving national industry - and the backdrop of John Steinbeck’s gritty “Cannery Row” - sardine canneries have been dwindling for the last half-century. They have fallen victim to global competition, corporate consolidations and a general lack of appetite, at least in the United States, for sardines, despite their nutritional value and attempts by chefs to give them an image makeover.”

• In Massachusetts, the Patriot Ledger reports that Fresh Market is getting ready to open its first store in the state, a 23,500 square foot unit at The Launch at Hingham Shipyard on April 7.
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