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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

More People Seeking Unemployment

November 23, 2011 4:19 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits ticked up slightly last week after two months of steady declines. But the increase isn't enough to reverse the downward trend. The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell to its lowest level since April.

October Durable Goods Orders Fell 0.7 Percent

November 23, 2011 4:15 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Business orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell for a second straight month in October. While much of the weakness came from a big drop in demand for commercial aircraft, a key category that tracks business investment spending fell by the largest amount since January.

Brownback To Fight For Boeing Jobs

November 23, 2011 4:14 am

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says he and the state's congressional delegation want to meet with Boeing Defense officials to understand why the company would consider leaving Wichita. Boeing has said it's studying the future of the plant, including a possible closing.


FCC Chair Opposes AT&T Takeover Of T-Mobile

November 23, 2011 4:11 am | by Ryan Nakashima, AP Business Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has come out against the merger of cellphone giant AT&T and T-Mobile USA. Julius Genachowski made his position known in a document he circulated to fellow commissioners Tuesday. Genachowski recommended sending AT&T Inc.

NASA To Launch 'Dream Machine' To Explore Mars

November 22, 2011 8:58 am | by Marcia Dunn, AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — As big as a car and as well-equipped as a laboratory, NASA's newest Mars rover blows away its predecessors in size and skill. Nicknamed Curiosity and scheduled for launch on Saturday, the rover has a 7-foot arm tipped with a jackhammer and a laser to break through the Martian red rock.

Deere Division Breaks Ground For MO Plant

November 22, 2011 8:56 am

STRAFFORD, Mo. (AP) — A division of Deere & Co. is breaking ground for a new facility in southwestern Missouri expected to create 55 jobs over five years. Officials said Monday that the state is offering an economic incentives package that includes $511,000 in tax credits over the next five years.


TN Glass Plant Could Lay Off 100 Workers

November 22, 2011 8:54 am

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) — A glass plant in Kingsport could lay off as many as 100 employees when it shuts down one of two production lines early next year. AGC Flat Glass spokesman Chris Correnti told the Kingsport Times-News the company had planned to rebuild one of the plant's furnaces in the spring, but now those plans are on hold (http://bit.


Economy Grew At 2 Percent Rate In Third Quarter

November 22, 2011 8:52 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew more slowly over the summer than the government had earlier estimated because businesses cut back more sharply on restocking of shelves. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the economy grew at an annual rate of 2 percent in the July-September quarter, lower than an initial 2.


Potential Solyndra Buyers Show Little Interest

November 22, 2011 8:48 am

WILMINGTON, Delaware (AP) — A California solar panel manufacturer that received a half-billion dollar loan from the U.S. government before declaring bankruptcy said Tuesday it's been unable to attract real interest from potential buyers to take over its operations. Instead, Solyndra LLC is looking at a piecemeal sale of its assets, with separate auctions for its machinery and equipment, real estate and intellectual property.

American Crystal Seeks Workers Amid Lockout

November 22, 2011 8:46 am

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — American Crystal Sugar Co. has begun advertising that it's seeking workers for its sugar factories, signaling a new phase in the company's lockout of its 1,300 union workers, which is in its fourth month. The new ads ran Sunday in several newspapers, including the Grand Forks Herald and The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, the Herald reported Monday ( http://bit.


HP Profit Falls As Charges Hit Results

November 22, 2011 4:27 am | by Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. was hurt in the latest quarter by declines in several of its key businesses and heavy restructuring charges, a sign of the challenges confronting new CEO Meg Whitman. Net income plunged 91 percent to $239 million, or 12 cents per share, in the quarter ended Oct.

GM To Assemble China-Made Autos In Egypt

November 22, 2011 4:24 am

SHANGHAI (AP) — SAIC-GM-Wuling, a General Motors Co. joint venture, plans to assemble autos in Egypt from kits made in China, competing in the same markets targeted by Chinese domestic car exporters. GM said Tuesday that production at General Motors Egypt from Chevrolet Move vehicle kits produced by SAIC-GM-Wuling would begin by the third quarter of 2012.

Metals, Stock Market Plunge On Debt Worries

November 22, 2011 4:22 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Metals prices plunged Monday on fears that debt problems in the United States and Europe could slow economic growth. Metals futures fell along with the stock market. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 2 percent when commodities trading ended. Markets plunged on the first day of trading after a 12-member congressional committee indicated that it would likely fail in its attempt to cut the federal budget deficit by $1.

Boeing Studies Future Of Wichita Defense Plant

November 22, 2011 3:55 am

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Boeing Co. said Monday that it is studying the future of its defense plant in Wichita, including the possibility of closing it. Boeing spokesman Jarrod Bartlett said in a statement that the study of the Boeing Defense, Space & Security's Maintenance, Modifications and Upgrades facility is part of an initiative to address what he calls "the current defense budget environment.


Chinese Left Guessing Over Bullet Train Crash

November 22, 2011 3:53 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — The investigation into a bullet train crash in China last summer that killed 40 people has come and gone with no public report on what led to the disaster. The secrecy surrounding the probe, which ended in September, is typical of the sensitivities shown toward wider troubles plaguing the showcase high-speed rail program.

Explosion Damages GE Plant In OH

November 22, 2011 3:51 am

CINCINNATI (AP) — GE Aviation says an explosion damaged a building at its plant in a Cincinnati suburb and caused a fire that was put out fairly quickly. There were no injuries. GE Aviation spokesman Rick Kennedy says no one was in the building when the explosion occurred about 4:30 p.


Anheuser-Busch Expanding In NY

November 21, 2011 8:28 am

LYSANDER, N.Y. (AP) — Anheuser-Busch says it's expanding canning capacity at its Syracuse-area plant with the help of a $900,000 state economic development grant. The company says it will spend more than $7 million on the expansion at its Lysander facility, increasing the brewery's production by 30 percent.


GM Plans $61M TN Investment

November 21, 2011 8:26 am | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press

SPRING HILL, Tenn. (AP) — General Motors says it will begin building its Chevrolet Equinox at a plant in Tennessee next year and plans to begin making a midsized vehicle there in the future. Monday's announcement of the $61 million investment will create nearly 700 jobs at the plant outside Nashville.


DE Chemical Site Eyed For Renewable Energy

November 21, 2011 8:23 am | by Alex Dominguez, Associated Press

One of Delaware's most troubled environmental sites, the abandoned Metachem site, is being considered by state and federal officials for its potential to produce clean energy. The 65-acre site near Delaware City is being paved over to keep chemicals spilled at the plant from continuing to leach into groundwater.


Obama Signs Bill To Help Jobless Vets

November 21, 2011 8:18 am | by Julie Pace, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Heralding a rare moment of bipartisan agreement, President Barack Obama signed into law Monday legislation aimed at helping unemployed veterans find work while putting more cash in the hands of companies with government contracts. The legislation, which creates tax breaks for companies that hire jobless veterans, marks the first proposal from Obama's $447 billion jobs bill to be signed into law.


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