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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Firm Cited In Deadly Energy Plant Blast To Pay Minimum Fine

February 11, 2015 3:19 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A company that was cited for 110 violations after a 2010 gas explosion that killed six workers at a Connecticut energy plant has paid only the minimum required fine for worker safety violations. The Hartford Courant reported Saturday that Keystone Construction & Maintenance...

U.S. Alleges That China Unfairly Helps Its Exporters

February 11, 2015 10:24 am | by The Associated Press | Articles | Comments

The United States is challenging China at the World Trade Organization, alleging that the Chinese government unfairly subsidizes exports in seven industries. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative says that China designates certain export companies as "demonstration bases" that...

Judge Sends Contractor To Prison For Faulty Gun Parts

February 11, 2015 10:19 am | by The Associated Press | Articles | Comments

A Colorado man who had a factory in Michigan has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for trying to sell faulty gun parts to the Defense Department. The government says Howard "Jack" Cahn's company, Aerospace Manufacturing Services, had contracts to supply parts for automatic...

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Farmers File More Than 360 Corn Lawsuits Against Syngenta

February 6, 2015 1:19 pm | by David Pitt, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Farmers and farm businesses in 20 states have now filed more than 360 lawsuits against agricultural chemicals-maker Syngenta, and hundreds more may be coming as a federal judge organizes the complex case so they can move forward. The dispute centers around Syngenta's sale of a corn seed called...

WA Lawmakers Pushing Electric Car Ownership

February 5, 2015 10:27 am | by Derrick Nunnally, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Even with gas prices hovering around $2 per gallon, Washington state lawmakers are considering a raft of bills to encourage more drivers to turn to electric cars in the name of reducing pollution. Plug-in-and-charge automobiles are gaining popularity in the state. Washington records show there were nearly 12,000 registered electric cars by the end...

CA Ban On Inhumane Farm Animal Cages Upheld

February 5, 2015 9:54 am | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Egg farmer William Cramer was once again dismissed on Wednesday when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the earlier decision of a lower court to toss out Cramer’s lawsuit. Cramer’s lawsuit challenged California’s Proposition 2, a law which bans inhumane caging of egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and veal calves, saying the...

Bias Complaints At Daimler Portland Plant Settled For $2.4M

January 29, 2015 2:32 pm | by Steven Dubois, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Daimler Trucks North America has settled discrimination complaints filed by six workers at its Portland plant by agreeing to pay $2.4 million. The complaints against the subsidiary of German automotive giant Daimler AG included an allegation that an employee threatened a black worker with a noose...

Toyota Lawyer Urges Jury To Find It Not Responsible In Crash

January 28, 2015 1:23 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Toyota Motor Corp. lawyer has told a Minnesota jury deciding whether the automaker is responsible for a crash that killed three people that the car couldn't have accelerated so quickly if the driver hit the brakes as he claimed. David Graves said in his closing argument Wednesday that the 2006...

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Judge Says ND Oil Patch Lawsuit Can Move Forward

January 27, 2015 3:58 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal judge says a lawsuit against a major oil company doing business in the North Dakota oil patch can move forward. Judge Ralph Erickson's ruling grants conditional class action status to the suit filed by a former employee of Schlumberger, which provides technology and other support...

BP Executive Takes Stand In Gulf Oil Spill Penalty Trial

January 27, 2015 11:49 am | by Kevin McGill, The Associated Press | News | Comments

A BP executive has taken the stand as lawyers for the oil giant make their case for a federal Clean Water Act penalty well under the $13.7 billion maximum for the 2010 Gulf oil spill. Richard Morrison, a regional president for BP Exploration and Production, was Tuesday's first witness as the three-week trial...

Defense Contractor To Pay $2M To Settle Claims

January 26, 2015 8:24 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Northern California defense contractor will pay the federal government $2 million to settle claims about its manufacturing of parts for remote-controlled aircraft. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Sacramento says Sacramento-based Composite Engineering Inc. agreed to pay the money to end...

MT High Court Upholds Coal Industry Sales Practice

January 26, 2015 11:50 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Montana's Supreme Court has sided with a Wyoming mining company in a dispute with state tax authorities who challenged the coal industry practice of making sales through affiliates. The unanimous high court ruling means Montana tax authorities must recalculate a $3.4 million tax bill for Gillette-based Cloud Peak...

Elon Musk's SpaceX Drops Lawsuit Against Air Force

January 24, 2015 12:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A spacecraft company run by billionaire Elon Musk has dropped a lawsuit alleging the U.S. Air Force improperly awarded a contract to launch military satellites to a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Musk's SpaceX filed the lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in April after...

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Past, Future Effects Of Oil Argued In BP Penalty Trial

January 23, 2015 11:18 am | by Kevin McGill, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Environmental researchers and BP attorneys sparred Wednesday over the potential effects of the 2010 Gulf oil spill in a trial aimed at determining whether the oil giant should be made to pay some $13.7 billion in Clean Water Act penalties. A government witness, Dr. Stanley Rice, a retired National Oceanic and Atmospheric...

Prospective Buyers Emerge For Shuttered Maine Paper Plant

January 20, 2015 3:08 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Three companies have expressed interest in reopening a Maine paper plant closed last month. But the head of the firm set to take control of the plant says he won't open discussions unless offers are on the table, and a federal judge today rejected efforts to halt the sale. Verso Paper Corp. last fall announced plans...

Tyson Foods To Pay $539K For Spill In Southwest MO

January 20, 2015 2:53 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Tyson Foods Inc. will pay more than $530,000 for a chemical spill that killed more than 100,000 fish and caused a southwest Missouri town's wastewater treatment system to fail, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced Tuesday. Koster sued the company last June after the discharge...

BP Back In Court, This Time For Clean Water Act Penalties

January 20, 2015 9:48 am | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | News | Comments

The company responsible for the largest offshore oil disaster in U.S. history is currently facing the Clean Water Act's largest civil penalty. The BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in 2010, causing the deaths of eleven workers and the destruction of the surrounding environment...

WA Lawmaker Proposes Controversial 'Ag-Gag' Bill

January 14, 2015 3:00 pm | by Kari Imberg, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | News | Comments

Washington Rep. Joe Schmick introduced a bill emulating Idaho's "ag-gag" law, which criminalizes undercover recordings at slaughterhouses and factory farms. According to the Capital Press, if House Bill 1104 becomes a law, anyone who is caught recording activities at...

MI Supreme Court Hears Major Right-To-Work Case

January 14, 2015 2:35 pm | by David Eggert, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Michigan's conservative Supreme Court is seeking to reconcile whether 31,000 unionized state employees are covered by a right-to-work law, hearing opposing arguments Tuesday on whether lawmakers stepped on the turf of a panel that regulates labor conditions...

Apple, Google Reach New Settlement In High-Tech Wage Case

January 14, 2015 1:45 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A revised settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit alleging Apple and Google conspired with other Silicon Valley companies to block more than 60,000 high-tech employees from getting better job offers. The terms of the new agreement weren't disclosed in a letter filed Tuesday with an...

Judge To Rule On Union's Lawsuit Against Maine Mill Sale

January 13, 2015 5:43 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal judge will rule next week on a union's antitrust lawsuit that seeks to block the sale of a Maine paper mill to a Canadian metal recycler. Parties appeared in court Tuesday to respond to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers' suit. The suit seeks to block the...

Recycling Plant Owner Admits Illegal Chemical Dumping

January 13, 2015 7:51 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The owner of an El Dorado plastics recycling company will be sentenced March 30 for dumping hazardous waste chemicals. Federal prosecutors say 41-year-old Brian Riley, of Andover, also was ordered to pay $118,000 to the Environmental Protection Agency. Riley pleaded guilty Monday to negligent...

Justices Will Not Question California Delta Smelt Protections

January 12, 2015 10:41 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Supreme Court has left in place restrictions on water deliveries from California's Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to protect a tiny, threatened fish. The justices on Monday rejected appeals from farmers in California's Central Valley and urban water districts who had challenged a plan...

Union Antitrust Suit To Block Mill Sale Heads To Federal Court

January 12, 2015 4:41 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A union's attempt to block the sale of a Bucksport paper mill to a metal recycler is heading to federal court. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers represented workers at the mill, which shut down production this month. Its antitrust suit that seeks to block the sale...

3 Executives Charged In WV Chemical Spill Plead Not Guilty

January 8, 2015 5:43 pm | by Jonathan Mattise, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Three executives charged in a chemical spill last January in West Virginia pleaded not guilty in federal court Thursday. The pleas come a day after an FBI affidavit was unsealed, saying Freedom Industries knew about critical flaws at its Charleston plant more than a decade before the spill, but...

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