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Today in Manufacturing

Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Ex-Smucker Employee Sentenced To Prison For Stealing $4.1M

February 17, 2015 3:32 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

A former employee of the J.M. Smucker Co. in northeast Ohio has been sentenced to nearly five years in federal prison for stealing $4 million from the company over a 16-year-period. A news release says 54-year-old Mark Kershey of Akron was sentenced to 58 months Friday. He was the Orrville, Ohio, company's chief...

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Judge: Oil, Gas Firms Not Liable For LA Coastal Erosion

February 17, 2015 3:27 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

A federal judge has dismissed a New Orleans-area levee authority's lawsuit charging oil and gas companies with destroying Louisiana's coastal wetlands. The lawsuit was filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East in 2013 against nearly 100 oil and gas companies over damage they...

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Obama Administration May Double Salary Threshold For Overtime Exemption

February 17, 2015 3:07 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

Policy experts expect forthcoming rules from the Obama administration to potentially double the salary threshold for exemptions to overtime pay requirements. Under current guidelines, employers may exempt salaried workers earning at least $23,660 annually from requirements that they pay overtime rates for more...

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VW Certifies UAW Alternative Group At TN Plant

February 17, 2015 3:05 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

Volkswagen has certified a group called the American Council of Employees to represent workers at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, setting the stage for the group's continued showdowns with the United Autoworkers union. The ACE formed at the plant as an alternative to the UAW, which had long sought...

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Families: Send Suit Against Gun Manufacturer To State Court

February 17, 2015 1:32 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

The families of nine children and adults killed in the 2012 Newtown school shooting are asking a federal judge to return their lawsuit against gun maker Remington to state court, where legal experts say it may have a better chance of succeeding. The families and shooting survivor Natalie Hammond...

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MI Governor Puts Renewed Emphasis On Blue-Collar Jobs

February 17, 2015 1:31 pm | by David Eggert, The Associated Press | Comments

Only a few short years ago, Michigan leaders talked excitedly about diversifying the state's economy beyond the auto industry, envisioning a Silicon Valley-style workforce that would be less dependent on manufacturing and more invested in technology and green...

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Why Refinery Strike Has Had Little Bite At Gas Pump

February 17, 2015 12:14 pm | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer | Comments

Gasoline prices can spike for all kinds of reasons that make skeptical drivers roll their eyes: "tension" in the Middle East, a refinery suddenly shuts down for maintenance, or the annual springtime switch to summer blends of gasoline. A refinery strike, however, would seem...

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Growing Pains: Oil Boom Turns Prairie School To Melting Pot

February 17, 2015 12:07 pm | by Sharon Cohen, AP National Writer | Comments

Every morning as principal Brad Foss arrives at his school — after just a 60-second commute — he's reminded of oil's giant footprint in this town. There's the revolving-door student roster that reads like random pages of a school atlas: Jiang from China, Emma from Utah, Jose from Guatemala, Omar from Arizona...

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Drones Rule: Proposed Rules For Commercial Unmanned Aircraft

February 17, 2015 10:27 am | by Joan Lowy, The Associated Press | Comments

Drone on, the government says. Just not through the night sky. Or close to an airport. Or out of the operator's sight. And probably not winging its way with a pizza or package, any time soon. Long-anticipated rules proposed Sunday will open an era in which small (under 55 pounds) commercial unmanned...

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Japanese Automakers Adjust To Port Dispute

February 17, 2015 10:24 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

The ongoing labor dispute at ports along the West Coast has forced Japanese automakers to compensate for delayed parts shipments to its U.S. factories. Honda began curtailing production this week at three of its North American plants, saying "critical parts" arriving from Asia, including electronics...

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Proposal Tries To Help Wean WA Off Coal-Fired Power

February 17, 2015 10:20 am | by Phuong Le, The Associated Press | Comments

Lawmakers hoping to wean Washington state off coal power are trying to ease the way for the state's utilities to end the electricity it gets from coal. Bills in the House and Senate set up certain favorable conditions for three private utilities, should they decide in the future to shut down a massive coal-fired power plant...

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NY Manufacturing Grows At Slower Pace In February

February 17, 2015 9:34 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | Comments

Manufacturing activity in New York state expanded at a modest pace in February, held back by weaker orders and hiring. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Tuesday that its Empire State manufacturing index slipped to 7.8 this month from 10 in January. Any reading above zero indicates...

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Death Toll From GM Ignition Switches Rises To 56

February 17, 2015 8:33 am | by The Associated Press | Comments

The death toll linked to crashes involving General Motors cars with defective ignition switches has climbed to 56. The new total, which is four more than last week, was posted Monday on an Internet site by compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg. Feinberg and his aides are combing through claims...

Apples Modified To Resist Browning Receive Federal Approval

February 14, 2015 12:55 pm | by The Associated Press | Comments

Don't expect to see them too soon, but they could be coming to your local grocery store — two types of apples genetically modified to resist turning brown after they're bruised or sliced. The development could boost sales of apples for snacks, salads and other uses. Arctic Golden and Arctic...

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Report: Apple Has Hundreds Working On Electric Car Project

February 14, 2015 12:55 pm | by Bernard Condon, AP Business Writer | Comments

You've heard of the iPhone and iPad. How about the iCar? The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has hired hundreds of people to work on a secret project — code name "Titan" — to develop an electric vehicle. The newspaper cites people familiar with the project who spoke under condition of...

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Navy Debuts Robot That Can Fight Fires Aboard Ships

February 14, 2015 10:57 am | by Brock Vergakis, The Associated Press | Comments

The Navy has developed a prototype of a man-sized robot to do one of the most dangerous jobs aboard any ship: fighting a fire. The Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot was developed by researchers at Virginia Tech and made its public debut during a Navy science and technology expo in...

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Brewers Battle Over Who Can Distribute Beer In Kentucky

February 13, 2015 3:23 pm | by Adam Beam, The Associated Press | Comments

Tensions between the emerging craft beer industry and one of the world's largest brewers have erupted into a regulatory fight about who can distribute beer in Kentucky. Anheuser-Busch owns two distributors in Kentucky and has attempted to buy others. But independent brewers worry they would be frozen...

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Consumer Health Group Finds Toxic Chocolate Valentine Surprise

February 13, 2015 3:17 pm | by Kari Imberg, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Comments

A consumer health protection organization, As You Sow, filed notices of legal action Wednesday against Hershey's, See's Candies and Mars for allegedly violating California's Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act.  Under the Act, manufacturers are required to protect its consumers and the state's...

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FDA Panel To Review Application For 'Modified Risk' Tobacco

February 13, 2015 3:10 pm | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Tobacco Writer | Comments

A Food and Drug Administration panel is planning to review smokeless tobacco maker Swedish Match's request to certify its General-branded pouches of tobacco as less harmful than cigarettes. The Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee has scheduled a two-day meeting beginning...

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Chemical Safety Board Under Fire

February 13, 2015 3:00 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | Comments

The federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents has come under increasing fire on a number of fronts in recent days, with former employees, members of Congress and even the Obama administration calling its activities into question. Criticism of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board is nothing...

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