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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Clash At China Smelter After 100s Of Kids Poisoned

August 17, 2009 4:25 am | by Christopher Bodeen, Associated Press Writer

Villagers in northern China clashed with police outside a lead smelter blamed in the poisoning of more than 600 children, reports said Monday. Several hundred villagers tore down fences and blocked traffic outside the Dongling Lead and Zinc Smelting Co.

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8 Dead, 54 Missing In Russian Hydroelectric Accident

August 17, 2009 4:20 am | by Nataliya Vasilyeva, Associated Press Writer

An accident during repair work at Russia's largest hydroelectric plant killed at least eight workers Monday, while 54 others were missing, investigators said. The explosion of a transformer caused the engine room to flood at the Sayano-Shushinskaya power station in southern Siberia, the Investigative Committee of the federal prosecutors office said.

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Prescott, AR Plant To Cut 90 Workers

August 17, 2009 4:11 am

PRESCOTT, Ark. (AP) — Ninety workers will be laid off at the Firestone Building Products plant at the start of next month, company officials say. The cuts represent a 21-percent employee reduction at the Prescott plant, which makes a synthetic rubber compound for roofing. They follow the layoffs of 71 plant workers in April.

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MI Cruisers Worry Days Of Classic Cars Are Over

August 17, 2009 4:07 am | by David Grant, Associated Press Writer

Jack Beller's blue 1966 Corvette has the classic big-block engine and the enormous carburetor that make putting the keys in the ignition a roaring ode to muscle car history. He and his classic ride have been coming to Saturday's Woodward Dream Cruise, billed by its sponsors as "the world's largest one-day celebration of car culture," since it began 15 years ago.

$1B In Battery Grants May Recharge MI Talent Base

August 17, 2009 4:03 am | by David N. Goodman & Jeff Karoub, Associated Press Writers

As a business professor and former auto executive in Michigan, Gerald Meyers has seen his share of former colleagues and students leave the state. The state's economy has been shrinking along with its struggling auto industry.

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600 Children Positive For Lead Poisoning In China

August 14, 2009 5:21 am

The number of children sickened from lead poisoning has risen to more than 600 in a northern Chinese province where authorities shut a smelter earlier this week thought to have caused the contamination, state media reported. More than 80 percent of the 731 children living in the two villages near the Dongling Lead and Zinc Smelting Co.

New Arkansas Plant To Trade On Clean Energy

August 14, 2009 5:06 am | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer

A $180 million wood pellet plant to be built in Camden could chart a green future for the city still working to overcome the loss of its biggest employer nearly a decade ago. The Phoenix Renewable Energy facility is to occupy the site of the former International Paper mill.

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Arkansas Plant To Trade On Clean Energy

August 14, 2009 5:06 am | by Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer

A $180 million wood pellet plant to be built in Camden could chart a green future for the city still working to overcome the loss of its biggest employer nearly a decade ago. The Phoenix Renewable Energy facility is to occupy the site of the former International Paper mill.

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Airport Controller And Supervisor Suspended For NY Crash

August 14, 2009 4:57 am | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press Writer

A personal phone call and the absence of a supervisor during last week's collision over New York's Hudson River has led to two air traffic controllers being removed from duty, although officials said the actions probably had no impact on the tragedy.

Air Force Contractor Settles With DOJ

August 14, 2009 4:26 am

The Department of Justice said that Dynamics Research Corp., a consulting, engineering and information technology services provider, will pay the United States $15 million plus interest to settle allegations of a 1990s kickback scheme related to contracts with the Air Force.

Company Sued In Bridge Collapse Responds

August 14, 2009 4:23 am

An engineering firm being sued by the state of Minnesota says it's not responsible for the fatal collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge two years ago. The Star Tribune reports that URS Corp. filed its response Thursday to the lawsuit. The San Francisco-based firm notes that as recently as last year, state officials were praising the firm's work on the old bridge and that the state has hired URS for subsequent projects.

Arizona Sheriff Raids Plant Seeking Illegal Workers

August 14, 2009 4:06 am

An Arizona sheriff who has aggressively cracked down on illegal immigration sent deputies into a Phoenix paper plant where they arrested 44 employees suspected of identity theft or immigration violations. Sheriff Joe Arpaio says Thursday's raid on the Royal Paper Converting Co.

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Boeing Pays $25 Million To Settle Probe

August 13, 2009 12:26 pm

Boeing Co. agreed Thursday to pay the U.S. government $25 million to settle claims the company did defective work on critical military refueling planes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The settlement arose out of a whistle-blower lawsuit filed in Texas by two former Boeing workers who will now receive $2.

PPG Contract To Redesign 737 Windshields

August 13, 2009 12:25 pm

PPG Industries, a maker of paints, coatings and other specialty products, said Thursday one of its subsidiaries received a contract to redesign laminated glass windshields for Boeing's next-generation 737 airplanes. Pittsburgh-based PPG said its aerospace transparencies business was awarded the contract by Spirit AeroSystems, a Boeing supplier based in Wichita, Kan.

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Ford To Boost Production Of Focus, Escape

August 13, 2009 11:27 am | by Kimberly S. Johnson, AP Auto Writer

Ford said Thursday it will build more of its popular Focus and Escape models and boost total vehicle production later this year to help dealers restock depleted showrooms. The automaker needs to keep up with demand for its Focus compact car and Escape crossover, both ranked as top sellers under the federal government's Cash for Clunkers program.

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GM To Build $43m MI Battery Plant For Volt

August 13, 2009 4:59 am | by David N. Goodman, Associated Press Writer

General Motors Co. boss Fritz Henderson says a new $43 million plant in southeastern Michigan will assemble battery packs for its new rechargeable electric car. GM's president and chief executive held a news conference Thursday morning at the plant site in Brownstown Township, 20 miles southwest of Detroit.

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iRobot Receives $5.1M Order From US Army

August 12, 2009 5:24 am

Robot maker iRobot Corp. said Wednesday it received a $5.1 million order from the U.S. Army for its bomb-disposal robots. The order calls for 14 of the company's iRobot PackBot 510 robots with spare parts. The robot is used by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan to help investigate dangerous areas where explosive devices might be present.

Kraft Worker Gets 2 Years In Tomato Corruption Probe

August 12, 2009 5:22 am

A former buyer for Kraft Foods Inc. will spend more than two years in jail for accepting bribes from a Central California supplier of the company's tomato products. Robert L. Watson of White Plains, N.Y., is the first defendant sentenced in the widespread corruption case involving Lemoore, Calif.

Wyoming Ranchers Struggling In Decade-Long Drought

August 12, 2009 5:00 am | by Matt Joyce, Associated Press Writer

Wyoming's cattle population dropped 21 percent during the past decade as ranchers struggled through a persistent drought that gripped much of the state from 1999 until last year. The cattle count in Wyoming dropped from 1.66 million in 1998 to 1.

New Egg Regulations To Cost $81 Million

August 12, 2009 4:57 am

New federal legislation designed to reduce the risk of salmonella in eggs will cost the industry $81 million, the United Egg producers trade group estimates. Several salmonella scares in recent years linked to other foods, such as peppers, tomatoes, cookie dough and peanut products have caused increased government scrutiny.

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