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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

U.S. To Take Closer Look At Google's Motorola Deal

September 30, 2011 9:03 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department is taking a closer look at Google's proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of cellphone maker Motorola Mobility, raising the hurdle that must be cleared before the deal can be completed. The extended review disclosed Wednesday had been widely expected since Google Inc.

UAW Chief Says Auto Bailout Was Right Move

September 30, 2011 5:22 am

SPRING HILL, Tenn. (AP) — The United Auto Workers leader in Spring Hill said restarting assembly at the General Motors Co. plant and creating some 1,700 new jobs two years after shutting it down shows the auto industry bailout was the right move and President Barack Obama deserves credit.

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AM General To Lay Off 350

September 30, 2011 5:18 am | by Tom Coyne, Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The northern Indiana-based company that makes Humvees for the military plans to lay off about 350 workers nationwide next month because of defense budget cuts and the drawdown of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, company officials said Thursday. AM General's new production of Humvees for the U.

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Toyota Case Dismissed Due To Damage Threshold

September 30, 2011 5:14 am

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge in California has dismissed a case against Toyota Motor Corp. that was supposed to be the first to reach trial out of hundreds of sudden acceleration complaints filed in federal court. U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna ruled Thursday that the court doesn't have jurisdiction because damages could not reach a $50,000 threshold under the law.

NASA Selects New Orleans For Rocket Project

September 30, 2011 5:09 am | by Alan Sayre, AP Business Writer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A year after the space shuttle program ended a major employment presence in southeastern Louisiana, NASA chose the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to build some components of its new heavy-lift rocket — provided the project is funded by Congress, a federal lawmaker said.

With Kindle Fire, Amazon's Digital Ambitions Burn

September 30, 2011 5:07 am | by Rachel Metz, AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Amazon's unveiling of the Kindle Fire tablet computer sends a bright-hot message: The online retailer is ready to rival iPad maker Apple in an effort to be the world's top digital content provider. It may sound odd coming from a company that pioneered online sales of physical products, selling its first book, Douglas Hofstadter's "Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought," in 1995.

Cyber Attacks On Utilities, Industries Rise

September 30, 2011 5:03 am | by Douglas Birch, Associated Press

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — U.S. utilities and industries face a rising number of cyber break-ins by attackers using more sophisticated methods, a senior Homeland Security Department official said during the government's first media tour of secretive defense labs intended to protect the nation's power grid, water systems and other vulnerable infrastructure.

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Tucson Armor Maker To Open New Plant

September 29, 2011 9:08 am

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A Tucson-based armor maker is set to open a new manufacturing plant. Bourque Industries says the new plant on the city's east side could eventually employ 200 people. The company says the plant will produce advanced ballistic armor for military and law enforcement use and ultra-high-performing metal alloys for various industrial applications.

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GM To Offer Center Air Bag In 2012

September 29, 2011 9:06 am

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. said Thursday it will install a center air bag on three of its models next year to better protect drivers and front-seat passengers. The new bag inflates from the right side of the driver's seat and is designed to protect people when their vehicles are hit on the opposite side of where they are sitting.

Firm Promises Payments To Moberly For Plant

September 29, 2011 9:04 am

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The former CEO of a firm behind a Missouri artificial sweetener plant in Moberly agreed that his new company will pay the city $250,000 by Monday and $3.2 million more within a month for the project now to be turned over to that company. The Columbia Daily Tribune reported (http://bit.

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Ford To Start Retooling Claycomo Plant In April

September 29, 2011 9:01 am

CLAYCOMO, Mo. (AP) — Workers at the Ford Claycomo plant are being told to prepare for a yearlong layoff when the assembly line where Ford Escape SUV's are built is retooled. United Auto Workers Local 249 members told The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/pB3OnH ) they learned this week that the shutdown was planned to begin in April and could last for 12 to 14 months.

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Auto Parts Firm To Pay $200M For Price Fixing

September 29, 2011 8:58 am | by Pete Yost, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Tokyo-headquartered auto parts supplier has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $200 million fine in what the Justice Department said Thursday is an investigation of an international price-fixing and bid-rigging cartel . Because Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd. and three of its executives conspired with competitors, "automobile manufacturers paid noncompetitive and higher prices for parts in cars sold to U.

Dozens Arrested In Drug Raid At Boeing Plant

September 29, 2011 8:55 am | by Patrick Walters, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — More than three dozen people have been charged in a prescription drug sweep that included a raid on a Boeing plant near Philadelphia that makes military helicopters. The arrests happened Thursday morning at the 5,400-employee plant in Ridley Park. Federal authorities say 37 people are charged with illegal distribution of a prescription drug.

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Carbures To Build First U.S. Facility In SC

September 28, 2011 9:00 am

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Carbures LLC is putting its first American facility in South Carolina's Greenville County and creating at least 50 jobs over the next five years. Officials announced Wednesday the maker of carbon fiber composite structures expects to invest $6.5 million on its new design and manufacturing facility.

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Labor Board Rejects Claim By Crystal Sugar Workers

September 28, 2011 8:58 am

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The National Labor Relations Board has rejected a complaint by American Crystal Sugar union workers that the company failed to negotiate in good faith. About 1,300 union workers have been locked out of five sugar processing plants in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa in the company's first labor impasse in 30 years.

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Energy Dept Approves Solar Loans Worth $1B

September 28, 2011 8:55 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing a Friday deadline, the Energy Department has approved two loan guarantees worth more than $1billion for solar energy projects in Nevada and Arizona. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the department has completed a $737 million loan guarantee to Tonopah Solar Energy for a 110 megawatt solar tower in Nevada, and a $337 million guarantee for Mesquite Solar 1 to develop a 150 megawatt solar plant in Arizona.

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Microsoft, Samsung Expand Smartphone Partnership

September 28, 2011 8:53 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft and Samsung Electronics have agreed to cross-license each other's patent portfolios, with Microsoft getting royalties for the mobile phones and tablets Samsung sells that run the Android operating system. Microsoft Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday that they also will work together to develop and market Microsoft's Windows Phone software.

Unemployment Rates Fell In Most U.S. Cities

September 28, 2011 8:51 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rates fell in roughly two-thirds of U.S. cities last month, despite zero job growth nationwide. The Labor Department said Wednesday that unemployment rates dropped in 237 of the nation's largest metro areas in August from July. They rose in 103 and stayed the same in 32.

General Motors Workers Ratify New Labor Contract

September 28, 2011 8:49 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

DETROIT (AP) — Factory workers at General Motors have voted overwhelmingly to approve a new four-year contract with the company that has profit-sharing instead of pay raises for most workers and promises thousands of new jobs. The United Auto Workers union said Wednesday that 65 percent of production workers voted for the deal, while 63 percent of skilled trades workers such as electricians were in favor.

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Worker Severely Injured In Warehouse Accident

September 28, 2011 5:26 am

SHIRLEY, N.Y. (AP) — Police on Long Island say a worker was severely injured after becoming entangled in a piece of machinery. Julio Granados suffered severe blood loss and traumatic injuries to both legs in the accident Tuesday afternoon at Clare Rose Distributors in Shirley. Suffolk County Police say the 56-year-old man got trapped in a large compacting baler.

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