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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

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.

Global Energy Plans SC Solar Plant

November 21, 2011 8:15 am

BLACKSBURG, S.C. (AP) — Global Energy Franchise says it is opening a solar panel plant in Cherokee County. The Greenville company announced plans Monday to build solar systems in the former TNS Mills textile plant in Blacksburg. Global Energy will initially employ 81 people at the plant.


KS Plane Maker Says Air Force Bars It From Bid

November 21, 2011 8:11 am

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Air Force has notified Hawker Beechcraft Corp. that its Beechcraft AT-6 has been excluded from competition to build a light attack aircraft, a contract worth nearly $1 billion, the company said. The company had hoped to its AT-6, an armed version of its T-6 trainer, would be chosen for the Light Air Support Counter Insurgency aircraft for the Afghanistan National Army Corps.


OH City Home To Jeep Sees Auto Industry Revival

November 21, 2011 4:45 am | by John Seewer, Associated Press

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — This Ohio town that has been churning out Jeeps since World War II, watching its fortunes rise and fall with the well-being of Detroit's automakers, is now finding itself in an enviable position within the car industry. Chrysler and General Motors have promised in recent months to spend more than $800 million on retooling and expanding their factories here.


GA Worker Fired For Refusing To Wear '666'

November 21, 2011 4:42 am

B y Greg Bluestein, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia factory worker claims in a federal lawsuit that he was fired after he refused to wear a '666' sticker he feared would doom him to eternal damnation. Billy E. Hyatt claims he was fired from Pliant Corp., a plastics factory in northern Georgia near Dalton, after he refused to wear a sticker proclaiming that his factory had been accident-free for 666 days.

Honeywell Workers Approve Contract, End Strike

November 21, 2011 4:39 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Striking machinists at the Honeywell plant in Kansas City have approved a new contract. The union overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with Honeywell Sunday evening, ending its 42-day walkout. The Kansas City Star reports ( ) that both sides said the contract was essentially the same as one the union rejected Oct.


Gates Testifies In $1B Lawsuit Against Microsoft

November 21, 2011 4:37 am | by Paul Foy, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Microsoft's Bill Gates took the witness stand Monday in a $1 billion antitrust lawsuit accusing the software maker of duping a competitor prior to its rollout of Windows 95. Gates, wearing a gray suit and a yellow tie, was the first witness to testify as Microsoft lawyers presented their case in the trial that's been ongoing in federal court in Salt Lake City for about a month.

China Promises Clean Energy Access

November 21, 2011 4:35 am

BEIJING (AP) — U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson said Chinese officials promised foreign technology suppliers equal access to their booming clean energy industry in trade talks amid pressure to revive global growth. Bryson said Monday that Chinese officials told him the country will invest $1.

Chu Says U.S. Needs To Stay In Solar

November 21, 2011 4:32 am | by Catherine Tsai, Associated Press

ARVADA, Colo. (AP) — Countries are lining up to supply a huge global market for solar energy, and it's important for the United States to stay in the game, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Friday after touring a Colorado solar facility. Chu's comments came a day after hostile questioning by Republicans in Congress over Solyndra Inc.

AL Immigration Law Backers Look At Changes

November 18, 2011 8:19 am | by Phillip Rawls, Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Some of the Republicans who voted for Alabama's new immigration law are considering changes that they say will make the law easier to understand but won't weaken it. "I made some mistakes in voting for this bill, and I want to step up and fix them," Republican Sen.


Heinz Adapts To New Economic Realities

November 18, 2011 8:17 am | by Sarah Skidmore, AP Food Industry Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — H.J. Heinz Co knows that every penny counts in this economy. The world's biggest ketchup maker's second-quarter profit fell yet narrowly beat expectations on an adjusted basis Friday as it focused on fast-growing emerging markets. But in struggling developed markets such as the U.


Microsoft Asks Judge To Dismiss Antitrust Case

November 18, 2011 8:14 am

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A trial accusing Microsoft of antitrust violations resumes in federal court in Salt Lake City with the software giant asking a judge to dismiss the case brought by Utah's Novell Inc. Novell has spent a month arguing that Microsoft was trying to protect its Windows monopoly when it rejected the WordPerfect writing application for the Windows '95 rollout.

GE Invests $1B In Silicon Valley Software Hub

November 18, 2011 8:10 am

SAN RAMON, California (AP) — General Electric Co., a maker of power plants, jet engines and medical imaging equipment, said Thursday that it is investing $1 billion in a new software headquarters in Silicon Valley with plans to hire 400 software-related staffers to develop what it calls the "Industrial Internet.


Metal Futures Plunge On Europe Worries

November 18, 2011 8:08 am | by Christopher Leonard, AP Business Writer

Metals prices fell sharply Thursday on fears that Europe's spreading financial crisis will slow the fragile U.S economic recovery. Traders were worried that a spiraling financial crisis in Italy, Spain and France could hurt U.S. banks. If that happens, it could slow growth and cut demand for industrial metals like copper and palladium.

Unemployment Applications Drop To 7-Month Low

November 18, 2011 8:03 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level since early April, a sign that layoffs are easing and hiring may pick up. Weekly applications dropped by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.


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