The U.S. electrical grid is better managed and more flexible a decade after its largest blackout but remains vulnerable to increasingly extreme weather, cybersecurity threats, and stress caused by shifts in where and how power is produced. Many worry the grid isn't fully prepared for the new and emerging challenges.
A company that provides reusable containers for parts at Honda's factory in Alabama says it has plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Pell City. AL.com reported Friday that Trinity Design Group LLC's nearly $1 million facility will initially employ 35 people with plans to increase to more than 70. The company focuses on sustainable packaging and the new facility will cover 32,000 square feet.
It seemed like a win for everyone when a startup car company, backed by political heavyweights, wooed investors with plans to build a massive auto plant in Mississippi. GreenTech Automotive announced in 2009 production would start in three years and foreign investors who plunked down at least $500,000 for the venture would get the opportunity to live in the U.S. while an impoverished area of Mississippi would get jobs and tax revenues.
Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry will consider selling itself. The company said Monday that its board has formed a special committee to explore "strategic alternatives" in hopes of boosting the adoption of its BlackBerry 10 smartphone. The company said its options could also include joint ventures, partnerships, or other moves.
Wheeling planners are considering a company's proposal to open a plant that would recycle wastewater from natural gas drilling. The Wheeling Planning Commission is expected to make a decision on GreenHunter Water's application at a meeting on Monday. Commissioners had declined to consider the project at their June and July meetings, saying they needed additional information about the project.
Apple won a partial victory in its long-running patent dispute with Samsung on Friday when a U.S. administrative panel found Samsung in violation of two Apple patents and blocked imports of some Samsung devices. But the U.S. International Trade Commission cleared Samsung on four other patents in dispute.
About 100 employees at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant have been sent layoff notices as the facility moves toward a shutdown. The United States Enrichment Corp., issued the notices Friday. The latest round of notices are separate from the roughly 160 employees whose jobs will be cut Aug. 16. Workers notified on Friday were told their jobs would end between Oct. 14 and Oct. 25.
A legislative committee delayed approval of an incentive agreement for a huge fuel plant planned for southwestern Louisiana, with some members complaining they don't have enough information about the cost of tax incentives used to attract the facility. The Joint Committee on the Budget's decision to delay approval until its next meeting was a setback for Stephen Moret, economic development chief for Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Three San Francisco Bay Area families are suing Boeing over the deadly crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214. The San Jose Mercury News says the suits filed Thursday allege that the maker of the Boeing 777 provided inadequate training to pilots in South Korea.
Americans who have a job may take comfort in knowing that companies are laying off fewer people than at any time since before the Great Recession. The government said Thursday that weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits have averaged 335,500 over the past month. That's the lowest level since November 2007, which was one month before the recession began.
China's factory output and auto sales accelerated in July, adding to signs a slump in the world's second-largest economy might be stabilizing. A decline in wholesale prices slowed, suggesting weak demand might be strengthening, according to figures released Friday. That added to earlier data showing July imports rebounded from the previous month's contraction.
U.S. wholesalers cut their stockpiles in June for a third straight month even as their sales rose again. Businesses may need to speed up restocking if demand continues to increase, a trend that could boost economic growth in the second half of the year.
Honda Motor Co. says it will invest 1 billion reals ($435 million) to build its second factory in Latin America's biggest country. In a statement emailed Thursday, the Japanese automaker says the new plant is expected to begin operating in 2015 and will have an annual production capacity of 120,000 compact cars.
State regulators struggling to comply with federal clean-air standards said they were likely to require major polluters to upgrade emissions controls, but that the effort may not be enough to deal with Utah's most serious episodes of air pollution.
During the height of last month's heat wave, millions of people in northern New England were urged to conserve energy, and some utilities fired up expensive, dirty sources of power to meet demand. But at the same time, at least two wind farms in Maine and Vermont were ordered to reduce the amount of electricity they provided.
A lawyer for plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit against Toyota Motor Corp. told a jury on Thursday he will ask for $20 million in damages for the family of a woman who died when her Camry suddenly accelerated and crashed despite her efforts to stop. The case involving the 2009 death of Noriko Uno is the first involving the issue to go to trial in state court.
Even though U.S. auto sales are close to returning to pre-recession levels, don't expect to see a new Ford factory anytime soon. Jim Tetreault, Ford's North American manufacturing chief, says his mandate is to squeeze more production out of existing plants to avoid the high cost of new bricks and mortar. Some plants are operating near capacity.
Remington Arms Company broke ground Thursday on an expansion to its ammunition plant in Arkansas, adding between 50 and 100 jobs in a project that the company says will help meet a growing demand by gun owners around the country. Officials with the North Carolina-based firm said they expected to complete work by June 2014 on the 35,000-square-foot building adjacent to its existing plant in Lonoke.
The U.S. Department of Labor is fining a petroleum refinery in Great Falls for unsafe working conditions. The agency's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Thursday it is proposing a $77,000 fine for Calumet Montana Refining.
U.S. and Japanese officials wrapped up a round of talks aimed at reducing trade barriers Friday, but differences remained over autos, insurance and other industries. "These concerns remain," Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler told reporters at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. "The negotiations got off to a good start this week."