Vancouver, WA-based Consolidated Freightways ceased operations on September 2. Thus ended a history dating to 1929, when Leland James bought some regional Northwest freight companies to form the Portland-based Consolidated Truck Lines. In 1939, James merged with the Freightways line and started his own truck-manufacturing business, Freightliner (now owned by DaimlerChrysler). In the '60s and '70s, CF moved into airfreight, warehouses, logistics services, and short-haul transportation. In 1996, the parent company changed its name to CNF Corp. (after its stock-market symbol) and spun off the original trucking operation. CF lost $104 million in 2001 and $36.5 million in the first quarter of 2002. In May it hired "turnaround" consultant John Brincko as its new CEO. He hoped to raise money by leveraging the company's real-estate holdings, but found that impossible in today's chilly investment climate. On Labor Day the company locked its terminals' gates and left phone messages telling its 15,000 employees they'd been immediately sacked. Customers with undelivered shipments had to arrange for other truck lines to pick up their merchandise from CF's parked trucks. The firm's applying for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, hoping to keep its airfreight and Canadian trucking operations going.
Helen Merrill Neil, 83, was born in her father's workplace, the Northern Pacific Railway depot in Irvin, WA. She worked as a Seattle Public Schools elementary teacher for over four decades. As president of the Crown Hill Elementary School PTA (the school her own kids went to), she helped lead a successful drive to get a pedestrian bridge built near the school at Holman Road and 13th Avenue NW. In 1989 she received a community participation award from the Seattle Retired School Employees Association for her years of volunteer work with the Ballard Convalescent Center and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. Neil died September 4 from cancer.