Firefighters try to extinguish a fire that broke out in a Czech plastic plant in Chropyne, about 250 km east of Prague, Czech Republic, on Friday, April 8, 2011. An official says more than a hundred firefighters have been battling a huge fire that hit the factory in the eastern Czech Republic.
EAST BEND, N.C. (AP) — EcoVolt Power Corp. says it is hiring 61 workers and investing $20 million in East Bend to produce environmentally-friendly automotive batteries. The Winston-Salem Journal reports Friday that the New York-based manufacturer should be shipping some 6 million automotive starter batteries annually from Yadkin County within three years.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The federal government wants to increase production and use of a higher blend of ethanol fuel by giving financial help to gas stations that install more pumps for the fuel, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in advance of a formal announcement planned for Friday.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hewlett-Packard Co. has filed a lawsuit against a former executive over allegations he took trade secrets with him when he went to work for rival Oracle Corp. The case against Adrian Jones, who was a senior vice president in HP's server, storage and networking division in Asia, shows the growing rancor between the Silicon Valley technology titans.
TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it will resume car production at all its plants in Japan at half capacity from April 18 to 27 after the March earthquake and tsunami forced it to halt manufacturing due to shortages of parts and power. Toyota, the world's No. 1 automaker, said production at its 18 plants will then halt from April 28 to May 9, a period that includes Golden Week holidays when factories would normally close.
HULL, Iowa (AP) — No one was hurt by explosions and a fire at a manufacturing plant in the northwest Iowa town of Hull. Authorities say the fire started inside the K & O Manufacturing Co., Inc., plant a little before 5 p.m. Thursday. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
PHOENIX (AP) — Boeing was surprised when a section of a Southwest jetliner's fuselage ripped open in flight because the plane wasn't old enough to be worrisome, a company official said Tuesday, as the airline cleared most of its older 737 planes to return to the skies. Southwest said it had inspected nearly all of the jets it grounded after the accident on Friday.
DETROIT (AP) — The Toyota Prius hybrid, once viewed as a science experiment for environmentalists, has become a mainstream vehicle in the United States, with the company selling more than a million of the cars nationwide. Toyota announced Wednesday that it had passed the million sales milestone, helped by brisk sales recently as U.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Cisco Systems Inc. CEO John Chambers is calling his company's recent missteps "unacceptable" and is vowing to take "bold steps" to narrow Cisco's focus. A memo to employees that Cisco posted on its corporate blog Tuesday suggests that major changes are coming for the world's biggest maker of computer-networking gear, but it was short on specifics.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A high-tech entrepreneur unveiled plans Tuesday to launch the world's most powerful rocket since man went to the moon. Space Exploration Technology has already sent the first private rocket and capsule into Earth's orbit as a commercial venture. It is now planning a rocket that could lift twice as much cargo into orbit as the soon-to-be-retired space shuttle.
COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (AP) — A northeastern Indiana modular parts manufacturer will create 110 new jobs and invest more than $9 million to expand its operations in Columbia City. The company known as 80/20 Inc. announced Tuesday it will add more than 90,000 square feet. It now has more than 250 workers in a 135,000-square-foot plant.
EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Illinois is facing growing concerns among business leaders that its policies hurt the companies that drive its economy, the head of Caterpillar Inc. warned Tuesday as he met with Gov. Pat Quinn. The meeting was prompted by a letter that Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman sent to the governor about other states trying to lure his company after Illinois hiked its income tax.
NEW YORK (AP) — In a note to investors Monday, Barclay's Capital analyst Brian Johnson suggested that Detroit automakers could gain some sales in the coming months because of earthquake-related supply shortages at their Japanese rivals. THE OPINION: Johnson said Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Diamond Foods Inc. is buying Procter & Gamble Co.'s Pringles chips business in a $1.5 billion deal, the biggest in a string that have given the maker of Pop Secret popcorn and Kettle chips a steadily growing share of the snack aisle. The deal also completes P&G's exit from all its major food businesses.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island may enlist some high-tech help in the fight against texting while driving: a device that jams most cell phone capabilities when a vehicle's engine is running. A state lawmaker has proposed legislation to require those caught texting while driving to install such a device.
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. is rewarding its top executive with shares currently worth more than $1.3 million. In a filing Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, GM said it gave Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson 42,360 stock units on March 31 as part of his compensation package.
COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — Cummins Inc. says it plans to hire 2,500 workers in the U.S. this year. The Columbus-based engine manufacturer says it is hiring across the board to meet strong demand worldwide and in anticipation of an economic recovery. A company spokesman tells The Columbus Republic that it's too soon to know how many of the 2,500 jobs will be added in Columbus.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Texas Instruments Inc. is buying National Semiconductor for $6.5 billion in a marriage of two of the world's premier makers of analog chips, which are widely used in electronics to transform signals such as sound into digital form that computers can understand. In scooping up National Semiconductor, TI is getting a storied Silicon Valley company whose history stretches back more than 50 years and is known for its power-management chips.
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana commercial developer says it has bought more than 1 million square feet of a former Whirlpool Corp. plant. The Evansville Courier & Press reports Friday that The Kunkel Group Inc. has finalized the sale of about 1.2 million square feet of the 1.
BEIJING (AP) — Nearly half of all dairies in China are being shut down after having their licenses revoked, the government's quality inspection agency said Saturday, in the latest attempt to clean up the scandal-plagued dairy industry. The agency said 533 of the country's 1,176 dairy producers have been ordered to cease operations.