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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

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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.

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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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Kia Says 2Q Profit Soars

August 12, 2009 4:27 am | by Kelly Olsen, AP Business Writer

Kia Motors Corp said Wednesday that second-quarter net profit quadrupled to a record, boosted by weakness in the local currency and robust vehicle demand in South Korea. Kia Motors, South Korea's second-largest automaker, earned 347.1 billion won ($279 million) in the three months through June, the company said in a regulatory filing.

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CA Meat Plant Cited For Cow Mishandling

August 11, 2009 12:36 pm | by Garance Burke, Associated Press Writer

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A California beef processor that voluntarily recalled tons of hamburger meat due to salmonella fears last week was slapped with animal handling citations last year in a government review of meatpacking plants, records show. At least 28 people in three western states have reported salmonella-related illnesses since last Thursday, when Fresno-based Beef Packers Inc.

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4 Cited After Chaining Selves To WV Agency Door

August 11, 2009 12:28 pm | by Tim Huber, AP Business Writer

Police arrested four mining protesters who chained themselves to the front door of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection headquarters Tuesday. The protest was the latest in a string of actions targeting surface coal mining in Appalachia.

Quake Disrupts Corning Glass Plant In Japan

August 11, 2009 12:26 pm | by Ben Dobbin, AP Business Writer

Corning Inc. said Tuesday its output of liquid-crystal-display glass will be lower than expected in the third quarter after an earthquake halted glass production at a plant in Japan. Operations at its factory in Shizuoka, southwest of Tokyo, "are currently suspended and we believe they will remain so for some time," said Corning's chief financial officer, James Flaws.

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WA Farmers Look To Mobile Slaughterhouse

August 11, 2009 12:24 pm | by Maurren O'Hagan

Walk into your neighborhood grocery and you'll likely find local apples, local cherries or local potatoes. What you're not likely to find is local beef — or, for that matter, local lamb or local pork. The "locavore" movement may be sweeping the nation, but there is a big gap when it comes to meat.

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Western PA Chemical Company Starting Idled Plant

August 11, 2009 12:22 pm

An idled chemical plant in western Pennsylvania is getting back to business this week, with all of its more than 250 workers expected back by next week. Indspec Chemical Corp.'s plant is in Petrolia, about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh.

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GM Says New Volt To Get 230 MPG In City Driving

August 11, 2009 4:34 am | by Kimberly S. Johnson & Tom Krishner, AP Auto Writers

General Motors Corp. said Tuesday its Chevrolet Volt rechargeable electric car should get 230 miles per gallon (98 kilometers per liter) of gasoline in city driving, more than four times the current champion, the Toyota Prius. The Volt is powered by an electric motor and a battery pack with a 40-mile (65-kilometer) range.

Dynegy Sells Plants For $1 billion, 2Q Loss Widens

August 11, 2009 4:24 am | by Mark Williams, AP Energy Writer

Power provider Dynegy will sell eight plants plus another under development for about $1 billion in cash and $500 million in stock as the company attempts to bolster its finances and reduce debt. Houston-based Dynegy reported Monday that its second-quarter loss widened by 27 percent as it wrote down the value of some of the plants it will sell to former development partner LS Power Associates and because of falling energy prices.

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GM Backs Out Of Mercury Cleanup Deal For Clunkers

August 11, 2009 4:15 am | by Ken Thomas,Associated Press Writer

As hundreds of thousands of clunkers head to the scrap yard, General Motors has dropped out of a partnership that collects toxic parts from recycled automobiles to prevent mercury pollution. Participants in the environmental program told The Associated Press the timing of GM's departure could undermine their work.

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NH Becomes 17th State To Enact Plant Closings Law

August 10, 2009 12:31 pm | by Norma Love, Associated Press Writer

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) —New Hampshire became at least the 17th state to enact a law requiring large companies to inform workers and the state before mass layoffs or plant closings. Gov. John Lynch signed the New Hampshire Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act into law Monday. It requires that companies give at least 60 days' notice before shutting down a plant or laying off one-third or more of its workforce at one time.

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