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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Texas Launches Criminal Probe Into Plant Explosion

May 10, 2013 2:04 pm | by Angela K. Brown, Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press

Texas law enforcement officials on Friday launched a criminal investigation into the massive fertilizer plant explosion that killed 14 people last month, after weeks of largely treating the blast as an industrial accident. The announcement came the same day a paramedic who helped to evacuate residents the night of the explosion was arrested on a charge of possessing a destructive device.

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All Nippon Airways To Add Boeing 787 Routes

May 10, 2013 2:01 pm | by The Associated Press

All Nippon Airways Co. is planning to start flying the Boeing 787 to Taipei and Shanghai in addition to three other cities abroad previously served by the U.S. manufacturer's advanced aircraft, after it resolves the battery issue and resumes services on June 1.

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Williams Delays Gas Plant Addition

May 10, 2013 2:00 pm | by The Associated Press

Plans for a new addition to a gas processing plant in western Colorado are being pushed back, but officials say it has nothing to do with a leak of hydrocarbons recently discovered coming from a pipeline near the facility. A Williams spokesman told the Grand Junction Sentinel the expansion is being delayed until 2016 because of the decline in local drilling levels.

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Homebuilders Can't Find Enough Qualified Workers

May 10, 2013 1:59 pm | by Alex Veiga, AP Real Estate Writer

U.S. builders and the subcontractors they depend on are struggling to hire fast enough to meet rising demand for new homes. Builders would be starting work on more homes — and contributing more to the economy — if they could fill more job openings. In the meantime, workers in the right locations with the right skills are commanding higher pay.

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Deal: Dubai Company Plans To Build GA Plant

May 10, 2013 1:57 pm | by The Associated Press

Gov. Nathan Deal says a company based in Dubai plans to build a manufacturing plant in Murray County with the goal of creating 200 jobs over the next three years. Deal said Wednesday the expansion planned by Mattex "speaks to the continued revitalization of the floor covering industry in northwest Georgia."

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Nissan Profit Up 46 Percent On Strong Sales

May 10, 2013 1:55 pm | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

Nissan's fiscal fourth quarter profit jumped 46 percent on stronger sales and a favorable exchange rate that offset declines in China over a bitter territorial dispute. Nissan Motor Co. reported Friday a January-March profit of 110 billion yen ($1.1 billion), up from 75.3 billion yen the same period the previous year. Quarterly sales gained 6 percent to 2.87 trillion yen ($28.7 billion).

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U.S. Officials Probe Corvette Headlamp Problem

May 10, 2013 10:26 am | by The Associated Press

U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating complaints that the low-beam headlights can go dark without warning on some Chevrolet Corvettes. The probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers more than 103,000 Corvettes from the 2005 through 2007 model years.

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North Dakota Tops Nation In Rate Of Worker Deaths

May 10, 2013 10:25 am | by The Associated Press

North Dakota has the highest rate of worker deaths in the nation, due in large part to the oil boom in the western part of the state in recent years, according to a new report from the AFL-CIO. There were 44 worker deaths in North Dakota in 2011, for a rate of 12.4 deaths per 100,000 workers.

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Wearable Robots Getting Lighter, More Portable

May 10, 2013 10:23 am | by Carla K. Johnson, AP Medical Writer

The technology has many nicknames. Besides "wearable robot," the inventions also are called "electronic legs" or "powered exoskeletons." This version, called Indego, is among several competing products being used and tested in U.S. rehab hospitals that hold promise for people recovering from strokes or afflicted with multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.

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Ford Shareholders Reject Stock Proposal

May 10, 2013 10:21 am | by The Associated Press

Ford Motor Co. shareholders are again rejecting a proposal to dilute the Ford family's control over the company. At its annual meeting in Wilmington Thursday, Ford said 67 percent of shareholders voted against the proposal to make each Ford share worth one vote.

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ArcelorMittal Affirms 2013 Targets Despite Q1 Loss

May 10, 2013 10:20 am | by Toby Sterling, Associated Press

ArcelorMittal SA, the world's largest steelmaker, slumped to a first-quarter loss, even as the company's chief executive said restructuring efforts are starting to pay off and the steel market is stabilizing after a big reverse in the middle of last year.

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Company Plans $1.5B Nitrogen Fertilizer Plant

May 10, 2013 10:18 am | by The Associated Press

State and local leaders in Grand Forks announced Thursday plans to build a new $1.5 billion nitrogen fertilizer production facility northwest of Grand Forks. Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Grand Forks Mayor Michael Brown were joined by others in announcing that Northern Plains Nitrogen intended to build the new facility.

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Jury Finds 3 Guilty Of Weapons Plant Break-In

May 9, 2013 2:16 pm | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press

An 83-year-old nun and two fellow protesters were convicted Wednesday of interfering with national security when they broke into a nuclear weapons facility in Tennessee and defaced a uranium processing plant. It took a jury about 2 ½ hours to find the three protesters guilty of a charge of sabotaging the plant and second charge of damaging federal property in July the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge in July.

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Tesla Model S Gets Consumer Reports' Top Score

May 9, 2013 2:15 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

The Tesla Motors Inc. Model S electric car has tied an older Lexus for the highest score ever recorded in Consumer Reports magazine's automotive testing. The Model S, which starts at $62,400 after a federal tax credit, scored 99 points on a scale of 100 in the magazine's battery of tests.

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Van Maker Backed By Energy Dept. Shuts Down

May 9, 2013 2:13 pm | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press

A Michigan company that received a $50 million federal loan to make vans for the disabled has stopped production and laid off its 100 workers. Vehicle Production Group, or VPG, suspended operations in February after its finances dipped below a minimum level required as a condition of the federal loan.

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Japanese Auto Parts Maker To Add 200 NC Jobs

May 9, 2013 2:11 pm | by The Associated Press

A Japanese auto parts manufacturer plans to add more assembly lines and hire another 200 workers at an existing North Carolina factory by the end of 2016. Gov. Pat McCrory's office said Wednesday that ASMO North America's Greenville plant already employs more than 530 people who produce parts for front wipers and for radiator fan motors.

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Honeywell Closing York Plant, Idling Over 100

May 9, 2013 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press

Honeywell plans to close a plant in eastern Pennsylvania by the first quarter of next year, idling more than 100 workers. The Honeywell Process Solutions plant in York makes products used in the natural gas industry. The company specializes in energy efficiency products.

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U.S. Wholesale Stockpiles Up In March

May 9, 2013 2:09 pm | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

Wholesale businesses stepped up their restocking of supplies in March, but their sales fell sharply. The Commerce Department said Thursday that stockpiles held by wholesalers rose 0.4 percent in March compared with February, when they had fallen 0.3 percent.

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Defendants: No Remorse For Weapons Plant Break-In

May 8, 2013 2:31 pm | by Erik Schelzig, Associated Press

An 83-year-old nun and two other protesters accused of defacing a Tennessee nuclear weapons plant said Wednesday they have no remorse for their actions and were pleased to reach one of the most secure parts of the facility. Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed testified on their own behalf during their federal trial on charges related to the July intrusion at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.

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Two Hospitalized After Sandblasting Plant Explosion

May 8, 2013 2:28 pm | by The Associated Press

Two people are hospitalized in Tulsa after an explosion outside a sandblasting plant in Eufaula. McIntosh County Sheriff Kevin Ledbetter told reporters the two were injured in the blast at Ford Sandblasting in west Eufaula shortly after noon Tuesday. Officials say the two suffered burns in the blast but their names and conditions were not immediately released.

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