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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Minn. Town Looks Forward To Explosions

July 26, 2010 4:51 am | by Bob Kelleher, AP Writer

NASHWAUK, Minn. (AP) — For the first time in nearly 25 years, the Itasca County town of Nashwauk has been rattled by explosions this summer. That's not unusual in northeast Minnesota's iron mining country, but in Nashwauk, the sound has been a long time in coming. After more than a decade of planning, blasting is a first step toward Essar Steel's huge project that will combine an iron mine, taconite pellet plant and steel mill.

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Is Your Smartphone A Killer?

July 26, 2010 4:50 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Does that smart phone in your pocket contribute to rape and murder in the depths of Africa? Soon, you'll know: A new U.S. law requires companies to certify whether their products contain minerals from rebel-controlled mines in Congo and surrounding countries. It's a move aimed at starving the rebels of funds and encouraging them to lay down their arms.

Ford Announces Car-Based Explorer, No More V-8

July 26, 2010 4:49 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — The Ford Explorer, the hulking family-hauler that helped launch the SUV boom in the early 1990s, is back. And it hopes to define a new generation of more streamlined, fuel-efficient sport utility vehicles. Ford begins a marketing campaign Monday for the 2011 Ford Explorer, which will be in dealerships this winter.

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Mohawk Settles Suit With Workers Over Illegal Immigrants

July 23, 2010 5:02 am

CALHOUN, Ga. (AP) — Employees of Mohawk Industries who sued claiming the carpet manufacturer hired illegal immigrants to keep wages low could be getting settlement checks this fall. Judge Harold Murphy issued an administrative closure in the six-year-old case in U.S. District Court in Rome on Thursday.

Kestrel To Overtake Naval Base, Create 250 Jobs

July 23, 2010 5:00 am

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A company plans to bring a manufacturing operation to Maine's former Brunswick Naval Air Station after the base closes, creating up to 250 jobs. Gov. John Baldacci says Kestrel aircraft company will start with 50 to 75 jobs, and then expand. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree said Friday at the announcement in the Augusta State Airport that "any time you talk about new jobs coming to Maine — that's good news.

What Should Taxpayers Expect Of GM's Subprime Lending?

July 23, 2010 4:34 am | by David Pitt and Tom Krisher, AP Business Writers

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is getting into the subprime lending business. And that means taxpayers are, too. But these car loans aren't as risky as you might think. GM, majority owned by taxpayers, is buying a company that makes car loans to shoppers with poor credit. Unlike home loans, though, the risk in subprime auto lending is relatively low and may reward GM.

Dell To Pay $100 Million Over Wall Street Fraud

July 23, 2010 4:32 am | by Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Computer maker Dell Inc. is paying $100 million to settle civil charges that it fraudulently used payments from Intel to pump up its profits to meet Wall Street targets over five years, the government announced Thursday. Under the settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, company Chairman and CEO Michael Dell also agreed to pay a separate $4 million civil penalty.

Zinc Smelter Explodes, 2 Dead, 1 Injured

July 23, 2010 4:31 am | by Joe Mandak, Associated Press Writer

MONACA, Pa. (AP) — An explosion Thursday at a zinc smelting plant in western Pennsylvania killed two people and injured at least one, authorities said. A worker who initially had been reported missing was among the dead, Beaver County emergency dispatcher Kevin Joy said. The rest of the work force at the Horsehead Corp.

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Ford Posts 2Q Profit, Sales Rise 28 Percent

July 23, 2010 4:30 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co. posted a strong second-quarter profit Friday but trimmed its U.S. sales forecast and predicted weaker results in the second half as the economy slowly recovers. The automaker surprised Wall Street, making $2.6 billion in the quarter as it continued to grab sales from rivals.

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Unemployment Checks Reduce 'Double-Dip' Recessions?

July 21, 2010 5:07 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — For jobless Americans struggling to pay their bills and keep their homes, the restoration of unemployment benefits could keep their crisis from getting worse. The same might be said of the broader economy. The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday to keep providing unemployment benefits for up to 99 weeks to more than 5 million long-term unemployed.

Coca-Cola Income Rises 16 Percent, Volumes Up

July 21, 2010 4:41 am | by Emily Fredrix, AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Coca-Cola Co.'s second-quarter net income climbed 16 percent as the world's largest drink maker sold more soft drinks and juices in every part of the world except Europe. The Atlanta-based maker of Coke and Sprite left its 2010 guidance unchanged Wednesday but said it remains cautious about meeting its targets.

Gerber To Upgrade Ark. Facility, Hire 50 Workers

July 21, 2010 4:40 am | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A Gerber baby food plant in Fort Smith will get a $90 million upgrade and hire 50 more workers to operate a new infant cereal line, parent company Nestle Nutrition North America announced Tuesday. The plant already employs 650 people and plays an important role in the economy of the city of 84,000.

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Devastating Fire At Go-Kart Manufacturer Caused By Arson

July 21, 2010 4:38 am

BRUNDIDGE, Ala. (AP) — The state fire marshal's office says a fire at a go-kart manufacturing plant in Pike County last week was caused by arson. Steve Holmes, a spokesman for the fire marshal's office, said Tuesday inviestigators have discovered the origin and cause of the blaze at the Carter Brothers manufacturing plant, located off U.

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Fiat Posts Profit, Agrees To Split Into Two

July 21, 2010 4:37 am | by Colleen Barry, AP Business Writer

MILAN (AP) — The Italian automaker Fiat, which controls Chrysler, on Wednesday reported a return to second-quarter profits on improved sales of agriculture equipment and trucks, and said it may raise its 2010 forecasts. Fiat also said its board approved the plan to separate its industrial vehicle and auto businesses into two distinct companies in order to "give birth" to a global automotive company that will incorporate Chrysler LCC.

Plane Makers Rack Up $25 Billion In Orders

July 21, 2010 4:36 am | by Emma Vandore and Jane Wardell, AP Business Writers

FARNBOROUGH, England (AP) — Plane makers notched up more orders on the third day of the Farnborough International Airshow on Wednesday — bringing the tally past $25 billion — as a resurgence in commercial aviation offset the gloom from governments' sharp cuts to defense programs.

FDA Scrutinizes Another J & J Manufacturing Facility

July 20, 2010 5:07 am

by Linda A. Johnson, AP Business Writer TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A second Johnson & Johnson medicine factory is under scrutiny from federal regulators, while the company struggles to deal with bad publicity and repeated recalls at another factory. The healthcare giant in April shut down a plant in Fort Washington, a Philadelphia suburb, that's now linked to eight recalls of Tylenol and other nonprescription drugs for children and adults.

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Toyota Subpoenaed By Grand Jury Over Steering Rods

July 20, 2010 4:59 am | by Shino Yuasa, Associated Press Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in New York to submit documents related to problems with rods that connect a vehicle's steering system to its front wheels. The world's largest automaker, which is trying to repair a reputation damaged by recalls of millions of cars worldwide since October, said the federal grand jury issued the subpoena to its U.

Johnson &amp Johnson Raises Income Despite Recalls

July 20, 2010 4:38 am

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday posted a 7.5 percent increase in second-quarter income despite ongoing recalls of popular nonprescription medicines keeping sales flat. Still, the maker of Band-Aids, birth control and biotech drugs reduced its profit forecast for the year by 15 cents a share.

Briggs & Stratton Saves 640 Jobs Through Renovation

July 20, 2010 4:33 am

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — Outdoor power equipment maker Briggs & Stratton Corp. is renovating its western Kentucky plant, keeping 640 jobs in Murray. Gov. Steve Beshear was in Murray on Monday for the announcement and said the decision by the company will have tremendous economic impact across the state.

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Harley-Davidson Income Soars, But Sales Still Sluggish

July 20, 2010 4:32 am | by Dan Strumpf, AP Auto Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — A rebound at its financial services business and stabilizing sales of its high-end motorcycles sent Harley-Davidson's net income soaring in the second quarter, but the company cautioned that the market for its two-wheelers will remain challenging this year. Harley, which has been restructuring for more than a year, said worldwide retail sales of its motorcycles fell 5.

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