NEWS WATCH

PRESIDENT CLINTON last week signed a law that restores food-stamp eligibility to some 250,000 immigrants who lost benefits under the 1996 welfare reform law. The prime beneficiaries will be children, elderly and handicapped immigrants who were in this country prior to the effective date of the welfare reform law -- Aug. 22, 1996.easanton, Calif., said last week that it has changed the designation

PRESIDENT CLINTON last week signed a law that restores food-stamp eligibility to some 250,000 immigrants who lost benefits under the 1996 welfare reform law. The prime beneficiaries will be children, elderly and handicapped immigrants who were in this country prior to the effective date of the welfare reform law -- Aug. 22, 1996.

easanton, Calif., said last week that it has changed the designation of the heads of its retail-operating units from division managers to division presidents, "[which] more appropriately reflects the breadth of their responsibili-ties," Steven A. Burd, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said. The change applies to John A. King, Denver; Michael J. Bessire, eastern division; Bruce Everette, northern California; Thomas A. Mossey, Phoenix; Robert H. Henry, Portland, Ore., and Robert A. Diens, Seattle. Grant Hansen, who heads Safeway's Canadian division, and Rick Dreiling, who heads its Vons subsidiary, already have the title of division president.

MEXICO CITY-BASED Grupo Gigante said it will decide by year-end whether to build a store in Los Angeles on a 12-acre property it owns. A spokesman told SN the company has been working for a year to determine if it should open stores in the Unites States. When it found the 12-acre site, located in Arleta, a Hispanic section of the San Fernando Valley, Grupo Gigante purchased the land, but plans are to "land-bank" it until a decision is made, the spokesman said. Grupo Gigante is reportedly Mexico's largest supermarket operator, with 1997 sales of $2.1 billion.