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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Eight-Alarm Tears Through Abandoned R.I. Rubber Mill

June 8, 2011 4:29 am

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) — A massive, eight-alarm fire tore through a 112-year-old mill in northern Rhode Island on Tuesday, leaving one firefighter injured, forcing some residents to be evacuated and leaving hundreds without power, officials said late Tuesday. Firefighters were called to a blaze at the former Alice Mills Rubber Manufacturing Plant in Woonsocket, just miles from the Massachusetts state line at about 7:30 p.

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Eight Workers Hurt, One Burned In Ariz. Intel Blast

June 8, 2011 4:24 am

CHANDLER, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities say one employee is severely burned and three others are hospitalized after a substance ignited in a chemical-storage room at Intel's plant in Chandler. They say the flash fire occurred in a self-contained room containing petroleum-based solvents used for cleaning.

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Numerous Accidents Illuminate Perils Of 'Bounce Houses'

June 7, 2011 9:22 am | by Frank Eltman and John Seewer, Associated Press

OCEANSIDE, N.Y. (AP) — They look like harmless fun — fluffy, inflated castles, ships and slides filled with children jumping around carelessly, their parents letting their guard down a bit during playtime. But an accident that sent three of the huge toys aloft on a breezy afternoon on New York's Long Island, left a woman seriously injured and hurt 12 other people is drawing attention to the little-known hazards of the inflatable playthings sometimes called "bounce houses" and the inconsistent regulations covering them.

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NJ Recycler To Turn 900 Illegal Guns Into Art

June 7, 2011 9:03 am | by Samantha Henry, Associated Press

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Workers at a recycling plant in northern New Jersey figuratively turned guns into plowshares Tuesday, accepting more than 900 illegal weapons that will be shredded and melted for use in the creation of a "Peace Angel" statue. The statue will be donated to the New York City Police Department's lower Manhattan headquarters.

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U.S. Challenges China's Subsidies In WTO Court

June 7, 2011 8:58 am | by Matthew Pennington, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. on Tuesday called for China to disclose all its government subsidy programs as Beijing backed down in a trade dispute between the world's two leading economies over clean energy technology. Washington filed a case with the World Trade Organization in December over grants provided by the Chinese government to wind turbine manufacturers that used key components made in China rather than purchasing imports.

WHO: Time Running Out To Find E. Coli Source

June 7, 2011 8:53 am | by Maria Cheng, Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — An expert at the World Health Organization says time is running out for German investigators to find the source of the world's deadliest E. coli outbreak, which has spread fear across Europe and cost farmers millions in exports. German officials are still seeking the cause of the outbreak weeks after it began May 2.

Stocks Eagerly Await Bernanke Speech On Economy

June 7, 2011 8:51 am | by Pan Pylas, AP Business Writer

LONDON (AP) — Stocks mostly recovered Tuesday as investors awaited a key speech from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke for any insights into U.S. monetary policy following a run of weak economic news. Fears over the global economy have risen in recent weeks after a raft of underwhelming economic indicators, particularly out of the U.

Ford Hopes To Double Global Sales By 2015

June 7, 2011 8:47 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday it wants to expand its global sales by 50 percent by the middle of this decade, mostly through growth in Asia. The company planned to present its plans at a meeting for investors later Tuesday in New York. Ford sold 5.3 million vehicles last year, but wants to sell 8 million in the next five or six years.

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GM CEO Criticizes Deficit, Economic Recovery

June 7, 2011 4:55 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors CEO Dan Akerson said Tuesday that he is concerned about the U.S. government's high deficit and what he called a jobless economic recovery. The government needs a plan to pay down the roughly $14 trillion deficit, Akerson told reporters before the company's annual shareholder meeting in Detroit.

Still-Frail Jobs Re-Emerges To Lead Apple Toward Ubiquity

June 7, 2011 4:52 am | by Marcus Wohlsen and Michael Liedtke, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Steve Jobs re-emerged from his latest medical leave Monday to show off Apple Inc.'s latest innovations and sustain the hope that he eventually will return to dream up more ways to reshape technology. The highlight, as usual, came at the end of Jobs' presentation. He was onstage for less than 30 minutes during a nearly two-hour event that primarily featured his subordinates.

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AP: Economic Stress Fell To Two-Year Low In April

June 7, 2011 4:39 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Mike Schneider, Associated Press

The nation's economic stress fell to a two-year low in April, thanks to the strongest private-sector hiring in five years and a dip in bankruptcy filings, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis. The improved picture for jobs and bankruptcy filings offset a slight rise in foreclosures.

Eyes Turn To Bernanke On Economic Slowdown

June 7, 2011 4:27 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's Ben Bernanke's turn to assess how much the economy has weakened. Investors have pushed stock prices lower for four straight days in response to data showing weaker hiring in May, falling home prices and a drop in manufacturing. On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve chairman will offer his outlook.

Toxic Spill Cuts Off Drinking Water To 500,000 Chinese

June 7, 2011 4:19 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, Associated Press

SHANGHAI (AP) — A toxic chemical spilled into a river that supplies drinking water to the scenic city of Hangzhou in eastern China, knocking out supplies to more than half a million people and creating a run on bottled water. A tanker truck carrying 20 tons of carbolic acid overturned late Saturday night.

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Ford, GM, Honda See Mixed Chinese Sales In May

June 7, 2011 4:17 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Foreign automakers are seeing mixed sales trends in China as the world's biggest market for new vehicles cools after years of torrid growth. General Motors Co. said Tuesday that its total sales in China fell 3 percent in May from a year earlier to 190,674 vehicles. Its sales in the first five months of the year edged up nearly 5 percent to 1.

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Boeing: Order From India Will Save Long Beach Jobs

June 7, 2011 4:15 am | by Sue Manning, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — There was excitement at Boeing's Long Beach C-17 assembly plant on Monday after word that a $4 billion order from India for 10 of the giant cargo jets was hours away from two final signatures. "The plant is abuzz. We knew the order was in the works. The extra planes will get us through 2012.

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Miss. Tooling Company Expands, Adds 125 Jobs

June 6, 2011 9:44 am

LEBANON, Mo. (AP) — Detroit Tool and Metal Products is nearing completion of its first expansion, which is creating 125 jobs. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said in a release that the company, based in Lebanon, is planning a second expansion that will add 75 more jobs. Detroit Tool and Metal Products' first expansion consolidated a former facility in Iowa with its existing operation in Lebanon.

EPA Offering Millions To Clean Up After Dirty Manufacturers

June 6, 2011 9:40 am | by John Flesher and Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Federal grants will help clean up and redevelop 214 polluted sites such as abandoned gas stations and shuttered factories in 40 states, Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson said Monday. Three tribal nations also will receive federal money under the EPA's "brownfield" program, which is designed to spur growth in cities where contaminated industrial and commercial sites have been a drag on the economy while contributing to joblessness and crime, agency officials said.

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Germany Retracts Deadly E. Coli-Sprouts Connection

June 6, 2011 9:38 am | by Juergen Baetz, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — In their second major retraction in a week, German officials said initial tests provided no evidence that sprouts from an organic farm in northern Germany were the cause of the deadly E. coli outbreak. One U.S. expert called the German investigation "a disaster." The surprise U-turn came only a day after the same state agency, Lower Saxony's agriculture ministry, held a news conference to announce that sprouts from the organic Gaertnerhof farm in the northern village of Bienenbuettel were suspected to be the cause of the outbreak.

Japanese Workers Start Earlier To Conserve Energy

June 6, 2011 9:36 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Facing a summer power crunch, some Tokyo city government employees began working an hour earlier Monday to conserve energy amid shortages caused by damage to a tsunami-hit nuclear plant. City workers on the earliest shift will start at 7:30 a.m. and be allowed to leave at 4:15 p.

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Impax Gets FDA Warning Label For Manufacturing Practices

June 6, 2011 9:33 am

HAYWARD, Calif. (AP) — Generic drugmaker Impax Laboratories Inc. said Monday that it received a warning from the Food and Drug Administration about manufacturing practices at its plant in Hayward. Impax said the warning letter came Friday. It said during a review, FDA inspectors found problems in the company's sampling and testing, its production record review, and the process it used to determine why manufacturing batches did not meet quality specifications.

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