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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Loss Of Manufacturer Setback For Old Base

January 23, 2012 8:37 am | by David Sharp, Associated Press

BRUNSWICK, Maine (AP) — The loss of hundreds of jobs that will fly to Wisconsin with Kestrel Aircraft Co. represents the first major setback for the redevelopment of Brunswick Naval Air Station, but there's no need to villainize the company because Maine failed to provide promised help, a redevelopment official said.

Neil Young Company Sued Over Fire

January 23, 2012 8:34 am

SAN CARLOS, Calif. (AP) — A company founded by Neil Young is facing a lawsuit over a fire in the San Francisco Bay Area that authorities say started in a vintage car the rocker had converted into a hybrid vehicle. The San Jose Mercury News reports (http://bit.ly/ytJtkW) that Unigard Insurance Co.

GE Expects Another Volatile Year

January 23, 2012 8:32 am | by Samantha Bomkamp

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. is bracing for another volatile year. The global conglomerate expects to see emerging markets from China to South America continue to grow while Europe falls into a recession. Its own results are also telling two different stories: Fourth-quarter profit improved when the results of sold-off businesses are excluded.

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Show Features Best Of Outdoor Gear

January 23, 2012 8:30 am | by Paul Foy, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — An inflatable vest meant to keep skiers afloat in an avalanche took top honors at a premiere outdoor-gear trade show in Salt Lake City. The $1,300 vest uses air bag technology and a rip cord to inflate two bags, and it can also protect a tumbling skier from head injuries, Stephen Barnes, senior product manager for The North Face, said Friday.

Lawmaker Opposing VA Light Bulb Ban

January 23, 2012 8:26 am | by Larry O'Dell, Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Delegate Bob Marshall doesn't want the federal government telling Virginians what kind of light bulbs to use. The Prince William County Republican has introduced legislation to allow the manufacture and sale of incandescent light bulbs within Virginia's borders after new federal energy standards take effect.

USDA Awards $25M For IA Biodiesel Plant

January 23, 2012 4:17 am | by Michael J. Crumb, Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded $25 million Friday to an eastern Iowa plant for its project to turn garbage into fuel. Maryland-based Fiberight LLC is building the plant, which would work with a local landfill to obtain municipal trash that will be turned into cellulosic ethanol.

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Glanbia Foods Plans $15M ID Expansion

January 23, 2012 4:15 am

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Officials with the cheese manufacturer Glanbia Foods say the company is spending up to $15 million to build its corporate headquarters and innovation center in Twin Falls. The expansion, announced Friday, is expected to add 100 jobs when the facility opens in March 2013, with plans to expand to 150.

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New CEO For BlackBerry Maker

January 23, 2012 4:13 am | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) — The new chief executive of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion said Monday drastic change is not needed after the departure of Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, who stepped down as co-CEOs and co-chairmen of the once iconic but now struggling company. The RIM founders have been replaced by Thorsten Heins, a little-known chief operating officer who joined RIM four years ago from Siemens AG, RIM said Sunday.

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Deal Reached Between Cooper Tire, Union

January 23, 2012 4:10 am

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. announced a tentative contract agreement Friday with its union workers in Texarkana, avoiding a repeat of a labor dispute in Ohio in which the company locked out more than 1,000 plant workers there. The company and United Steel Workers Local 752L released a joint statement announcing the four-year deal.

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Kodak Gets 2013 Deadline To Reorganize

January 23, 2012 4:08 am | by Ben Dobbin, AP Business Writer

ROCHESTER, New York (AP) — Eastman Kodak Co. has a little over a year to reshape its money-losing businesses and deliver a get-out-of-bankruptcy plan. Girded by a $950 million financing deal with Citigroup Inc., the photography pioneer aims to keep operating normally during bankruptcy while it peddles a trove of digital-imaging patents.

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Government Says Volt Is Safe

January 23, 2012 4:05 am | by Dee-Ann Durbin, Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writers

DETROIT (AP) — The government ended its safety investigation into the Chevrolet Volt on Friday after concluding that the Volt and other electric cars don't pose a greater fire risk than gasoline-powered cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began studying the Volt last June after a fire broke out in one of the cars three weeks after it was crashed as part of safety testing.

U.S. Army Burns Off Final Chemical Weapons

January 20, 2012 5:48 am | by Paul Foy, Associated Press

STOCKTON, Utah (AP) — Gary McCloskey may have destroyed more chemical weapons than any man alive, but he barely reacted when the final weapons from the world's largest stockpile of warfare agents came out of an incinerator. McCloskey, a 63-year-old engineer and manager for URS Corp.

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Toymaker Drops Legal Action Against Lego

January 20, 2012 5:46 am

MONTREAL — Toymaker Mega Brands Inc. said Friday it has dropped its legal action against rival Lego. The move comes after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed that it won't block imports of Mega Brands products into the United States. Mega (TSX:MB) stock rose more than three per cent to $8.

Air Bags Presented As Skiing Safety Solution

January 20, 2012 5:44 am | by Eric Willemsen, Associated Press

KITZBUEHEL Austria (AP) — A high-tech air bag meant to improve safety in ski racing was presented by the International Ski Federation and the manufacturer on Thursday, two years before its planned introduction at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The D-air system inflates air bags under the race suit in case of a crash, helping to protect the skier's back, chest, shoulders and collar bones.

Fewer Layoffs, Lower Inflation Give Economy A Lift

January 20, 2012 5:42 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy is off to a fast start in 2012. The outlook for hiring has brightened as applications for unemployment benefits near a four-year low. Adding to the optimism, inflation remains low, business travel is up and the home market is showing slight gains after three dismal years.

Safety Agency Calls For Checks On A380 Wings

January 20, 2012 5:40 am | by Geir Moulson, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — Europe's air safety authority told airlines Friday to inspect nearly a third of the world's A380 superjumbo jets within about six weeks after Airbus found new cracks in metal brackets inside the wings. The European Aviation Safety Agency issued an airworthiness directive that called for "a detailed visual inspection" of the aircraft's so-called "wing rib feet" — the metal brackets that connect the wing's ribs to its skin.

Apple Starts Selling Interactive iPad Textbooks

January 20, 2012 5:37 am | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple Inc. on Thursday launched its attempt to make the iPad a replacement for a satchel full of textbooks by starting to sell electronic versions of a handful of standard high-school books. The electronic textbooks, which include "Biology" and "Environmental Science" from Pearson and "Algebra 1" and "Chemistry" from McGraw-Hill, contain videos and other interactive elements.

GE 4Q Profit Falls, Sales Miss Estimates

January 20, 2012 3:52 am

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. said Friday its fourth-quarter earnings fell 18 percent as revenue declined after it sold its stake in the NBC network. Revenue of nearly $38 billion was lower than what Wall Street was banking on. Shares fell more than 2 percent in trading before the opening bell.

UN Sets Stage For Fast New Mobile Devices

January 20, 2012 3:49 am | by John Heilprin, Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) — A United Nations telecom meeting has approved the next generation of mobile technology, which experts say will make devices 500 times faster than 3G smartphones and eliminate the wait time between the tap of a finger and the appearance of a Web page. The technology will be used immediately for planning changes to equipment but it could take two years to show up on consumers smartphone, tablets and other devices because of the time it takes to get to production, International Telecommunication Union spokesman Sanjay Acharya said Thursday.

Patent Attorney Testifies About Failed MO Factory

January 20, 2012 3:46 am | by David A. Lieb, Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A patent attorney who vouched for a Chinese artificial sweetener factory testified Thursday that he became aware of concerns about the Chinese site before a deal closed to finance the construction of a similar manufacturing plant in rural Missouri. Los Angeles attorney Michael Wise testified by video conference after being subpoenaed by a special Missouri House committee investigating the failure of Mamtek U.

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