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Death Car Derby

We were cruising down to work on the Garden State Parkway this morning in our 2009 Toyota Corolla when a disturbing bulletin was broadcast over the car radio. The announcer informed us that Toyota has halted U.S. production and sales of eight of its most popular models, including Camry and Corolla. The world’s largest carmaker is trying to determine why the gas pedals on its cars keep getting stuck in the a ...

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McDonnell Pledges $50 Million for Jobs

Gov. Bob McDonnell want to invest $50 million to attract businesses to Virginia, bulk up tourism advertising and entice movie makers to the state, according to a report in the Daily Press of Newport News. McDonnell, who took office this month, predicts that the investment can create more than 29,000 jobs and bring in $311 million in tax revenue over the next five years. "I'd say that's a pretty good deal," ...

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GM is Betting on Electric Motors

General Motors is investing $246 million in electric motors and electric drive manufacturing facilities in the U.S. According to Tom Stephens, GM’s vice president for global vehicle operations, the automaker’s electric motor initiative will create at least 200 new jobs. “In the future, electric motors might become as important to GM as engines are right now,” Stephens said in a statement issued this week. “ ...

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U.S. Wind Power Capacity Grew 39% in 2009

The growth of wind power capacity in the U.S. is expanding rapidly, according to the annual report of the American Wind Energy Association. Wind power capacity grew by 39 percent in 2009, adding about 9,900 megawatts capable of generating 2 percent of electricity used in the U.S. The wind power capacity expansion was the largest annual jump on record to date, outpacing the 2008 total by more than 18 percent ...

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Confluence Solar Plans $200 Million Facility in TN

Governor Phil Bredesen and Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber have announced that Missouri-based Confluence Solar has selected Clinton, TN as the home of their new manufacturing, warehousing and distribution facility. The facility will produce premium quality mono-crystal silicon ingots for photovoltaic solar power generation. The company’s HiCz™ brand products increase th ...

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VC Funds Plugging into Electric Car Charging Stations

A group of equity investors led by HSBC agreed this week to provide $350 million in funding to electric vehicle infrastructure start-up Better Place, which plans to deploy nationwide networks of charging points and battery exchange stations in Israel and Denmark by the end of 2011, with smaller regional networks in Australia and California the following year. Better Place, based in Palo Alto, CA, says it is ...

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MTU Detroit Diesel Puts Plant in Aiken County, SC

The South Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership have announced that MTU Detroit Diesel Inc. is planning to establish the company’s new manufacturing facility in Aiken County.  MTU Detroit Diesel Inc., a subsidiary of the German-based and stock market listed Tognum Group, anticipates that its expansion project will require a $45 million investment and the creation of 250 ne ...

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A Win-Win Situation

In the past few months, we’ve written about numerous plant closings and consolidations. So it was very refreshing to receive this report from the Bluegrass State, describing how a management team at a soon-to-be-shuttered Komatsu plant in Lexington took matters into their own hands—the Komatsu managers teamed up with the Bluegrass Business Development Partnership (BBDP) and found another manufacturing conce ...

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Renewable Energy Incubator Opens in Utah

Utah's first business incubator focused on renewable energy has begun operations at University Plaza, near the campus of Dixie State College. A collaborative effort spearheaded by the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative, the Southern Utah Information Technology and Renewable Energy Incubator is designed to help Utah join several other states and cities investing in the start-up of new businesses ...

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Morrell Closing Sioux City Meatpacking Plant

John Morrell & Co. has announced it is permanently closing its hog processing and fresh meat fabrication plant located in Sioux City, Iowa, effective April 20, 2010. The Sioux City plant processes hogs and produces boneless loins and other fresh pork products. John Morrell is a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc. "We deeply regret having to close this facility," said Joseph B. Sebring, president of Joh ...

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