|Thursday Dec 05, 2013 - Crews recover man buried under grain
by KING 5 News Staff
ROY, Wash. -- Crews have found the man killed in a grain silo Wednesday night.
Reaching the remains of Steve Green, 44-year-old man, in the grain silo collapse took longer than expected, but crews worked non-stop till they found him.
Green leaves behind a wife, three daughters and a son.
Nearly two full days after a corn silo collapsed at the Wilcox Family Farm feed mill, vacuum trucks have removed nearly 500 tons of spilled corn.
Photos of grain silo collapse at Roy mill
The man and another employee at the Wilcox Feed Mill were doing maintenance outside the bin Monday when it collapsed, damaging two other bins and shifting an office building off of its foundation. Fire officials previously estimated 50 tons of grain had spilled, but later found out it was much more than that.
Two other employees managed to escape the office before it filled with the corn.
Officials with South Pierce Fire and Rescue also used a 125-foot excavator to hold the collapsed bin so searchers can reach the man.
Family members of the employee have been on site practically non-stop.
Green is a former Marine and so South Pierce Fire and Rescue plans to have members of the military remove his remains from the mill so they can give him a respectful procession off the property.
Wilcox Family Farms cited for safety violations
Records released Tuesday by the state Department of Labor and Industries show the mill's owner, Wilcox Family Farms, was cited earlier in the year for six “serious” safety violations. The company was assessed a $10,000 penalty after a June review.
Inspectors cited the company for having inadequate rescue services around a corn tank and for failing to fully inform employees of the hazardous conditions.
Wilcox Family Farms supplies eggs throughout the Northwest.
KING 5's Jake Whittenberg and Drew Mikkelsen contributed to this report.
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|Thursday Dec 05, 2013 - Gavilon to buy Iowa-based Lincolnway Energy distiller's grains
Dec 3 (Reuters) - Ethanol producer Lincolnway Energy said it has struck a deal to sell the distiller's grains produced at its ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa, to Gavilon Ingredients LLC.
Distiller's grains, a byproduct of converting corn into ethanol fuel, are used to make animal feed.
Lincolnway, in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said that under the Dec. 2 agreement, which takes effect Jan. 1, Gavilon is required to purchase all of the distiller's grains produced at the ethanol plant.
The agreement can be terminated after its initial term by either Lincolnway or Gavilon on 60 days' prior written notice, or in the event of a bankruptcy.
Gavilon was acquired by Japanese trading house Marubeni Corp earlier this year.
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|Wednesday Dec 04, 2013 - Woman Admits to Double Brokering Scheme
A woman has pleaded guilty to charges in U.S. District Court in Macon, Ga., for her involvement in a double-brokering freight scam.
On Nov. 20, Pauline Robinson-Kirkland, of Donalsonville, Ga., admitted to mail fraud. She was indicted in July 2012.
The investigation revealed that Robinson-Kirkland used the Internet to access websites where senders advertised loads of commercial freight available for transport, according to the Office of the U.S. DOT Inspector General.
She bid on these loads of freight using the names of her various companies, which are listed as having broker authority with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and was awarded the bids.
Robinson-Kirkland led the sender to believe her trucking business would deliver the freight for the contracted price and the sender of the freight would send her payment at the agreed upon price. However, after accepting the bid, she would immediately re-advertise the job, using a different company name.
She accepted bids from legitimate trucking companies and had them deliver the freight from the sender to the intended destination, never disclosing that she had arranged for the sender to send payment to her. This resulted in the actual freight hauler never being paid.
Robinson-Kirkland has yet to be sentenced.
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|Tuesday Dec 03, 2013 - Enforcement begins on increased broker bond amount
By Land Line staff http://www.landlinemag.com/
Starting Dec. 1 enforcement has begun on a new regulation mandating all brokers and freight forwarders have a $75,000 bond.
The new regulation, which upped the broker bond from $10,000 to $75,000, was enacted as part of the highway funding law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21 Century Act, or MAP-21, which was signed in July 2012.
All brokers and freight forwarders who engage in interstate brokerage or freight forwarding operations must register with FMCSA reflecting the new minimum security amount of $75,000. Motor carriers who occasionally broker loads must register both as motor carriers and as brokers, according to the FMCSA guidance.
The increased bond amount went into effect on Oct. 1, but the agency allowed a 60-day phase in period to allow the industry to complete all necessary filings.
The maximum civil penalty for brokers and freight forwarders who engage in interstate operations and who do not register with FMCSA is $10,000.
Before the implementation of the regulation, the Association of Independent Property Brokers and Agents filed a civil lawsuit followed by a petition for review of the regulation in an attempt to block the increase of the bond amount.
The AIPBA’s civil lawsuit filed against the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in July was dismissed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District in Ocala, Fla., on Nov. 12. This was after a joint stipulation of dismissal was filed on Nov. 8 by the AIPBA and Anthony Foxx, in his capacity as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, as well as FMCSA, with each party agreeing to pay its own fees and costs.
The petition for review was filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on Nov. 14 following the dismissal of the civil lawsuit. Along with the petition for review, the broker group also filed a motion for an emergency injunction in an attempt to delay the Dec. 1 enforcement deadline.
The court denied the emergency injunction petition on Nov. 26. The group’s petition for review still remains before the court, although not on an expedited schedule.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has been supportive of upping the bond amount from $10,000, which was set before deregulation before 1980, back when there were fewer than 100 brokers in the U.S.
“By increasing the bond amount, in addition to other changes, the bond companies will better scrutinize the brokers applying for bonds to assure themselves that the bond won’t be abused and that truckers using the broker will be paid,” OOIDA Executive President Todd Spencer has stated about the new broker bond amount.
Copyright © OOIDA
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|Monday Dec 02, 2013 - Amazon Tests Drones for Home Delivery
E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. is developing aerial drones that it said could deliver products directly to consumers’ homes within the next five years.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the unmanned aircraft project Dec. 1 on CBS program “60 Minutes.” The vehicles could deliver up to five pounds in a 10-mile radius of Amazon’s 96 warehouses within 30 minutes, Bezos said.
“It will work, and it will happen, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun,” he said, according to Bloomberg News.
The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration would have to approve the use of drones, Bloomberg said. Congress has directed it to write regulations to allow such vehicles in United States airspace by 2015.
Drones are currently used to deliver textbooks in Australia, and an experiment using them in under way in China.
In addition to the faster time to deliver products, drones could deliver a supply chain with a smaller environmental impact, Bezos said. “It’s very green,” he said, according to Bloomberg. “It’s better than driving trucks around.”
In November, Amazon teamed up with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver packages on Sundays.
By Transport Topics
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|Monday Dec 02, 2013 - Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!
MONTREAL, QC— You can name your own price on more than 2,900 equipment items and trucks at the Ritchie Bros. unreserved public auction, which will take place in Montreal on December 5 and 6.
"We are selling a huge selection of equipment in this auction—more than 400 pieces—from lifting and material handling equipment to light and heavy construction equipment, along with attachments and more," said André Véronneau, president and CEO of Simplex Equipment Rental, a Canadian rental company with more than 40 locations in Quebec and Ontario.
"With Ritchie Bros. we are able to quickly turn our idle equipment into cash and put that money towards upgrading our rental fleet with new equipment in order to improve our customer service," Véronneau said.
Bids can be made in person at the auction site, live online and by proxy.
Buyers can choose from over 150 truck tractors, 70 hydraulic excavators, 40 wheel loaders, 30 articulated dump trucks, 20 crawler tractors and more—and every item will be sold without minimum bids or reserve prices.
"With our auctions, sellers are able to reach a massive global audience of potential buyers; meanwhile buyers are provided an unmatched selection of used and unused equipment all in one place for them to inspect and compare—either on site or online," said Jessy Cantin, Regional Sales Manager, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers.
Also coming up is a Toronto auction featuring 2,000 equipment items and trucks and an auction in Truro, NS.
Here are the details:
Toronto – December 9, 10
• 45 hydraulic excavators (including an unused 2012 John Deere 350G LC)
• 30 agricultural tractors (including a 2012 John Deere 8335R MFWD)
• 20 wheel loaders (including a 2011 Caterpillar 966H)
• 25 crawler tractors (including a 2010 John Deere 750J LT)
• 105 truck tractors and more
• For more information about this auction visit: www.rbauction.com/toronto
Truro – December 17
• wheel loaders (including a 2009 Caterpillar 988H & a Letourneau L950 Pitbull)
• rock trucks (including five 2007 Komatsu HD465-7EO 55-ton)
• hydraulic excavators (including two 2009 Caterpillar 365CL)
• drills (including 2008 Atlas Copco DML-XL1200 crawler blast hole drill)
• trucks and more
• For more information about this auction visit: www.rbauction.com/truro
Interested sellers can contact: +1.450.464.2888 (for Montreal, QC), +1.905.857.2422 (for Toronto, ON), and +1.902.895.3700 (for Truro, NS).
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|Monday Dec 02, 2013 - Agriculture's 'dark side' is highly overstated
Article by: MIKE FERNANDEZ
A recent commentary deeply misunderstood Cargill’s mission.
Bonnie Blodgett’s commentary “Agriculture’s deal with the dark side” (Nov. 24) stokes unwarranted fear of “industrial agriculture” and mischaracterizes Cargill’s role in agriculture worldwide. For one thing, 96 percent of crop-producing farms in the United States are family-owned, and they represent 87 percent of all agricultural value. For another, Cargill (where I work) is committed, like most of these farmers, to improved environmental stewardship and land management. We have many efforts underway to pursue sustainable production across the globe working with groups like World Wildlife Fund and the Nature Conservancy.
In the Colombian case mentioned in Blodgett’s essay, a Cargill subsidiary has made significant investments that are delivering direct benefits to the Colombian people and their domestic food security. The investments are building sustainable farms and farming infrastructure in a remote area with great agricultural potential but a long history of underinvestment.
The farms today are producing corn, soybeans and rice, 100 percent of which stays in Colombia, improving the country’s food security and reducing its high reliance on food imports. Blodgett gives life to rumor when she says Oxfam believes Cargill has plans to export this food. Nothing could be further from the truth. Colombia is a net-food-importing country. It imports 80 percent of its corn and soybean consumption, which means the local market will long be the best home for local production.
Although Blodgett said we gave “no explanation beyond a brief news release,” we have provided a great deal of information on our website about our role in growing more food for Colombia.
Our website also reports on how Cargill has been working for many years with millions of smallholder farmers around the world. We help them improve the crop quality and yields of their own land, raise their productivity and incomes, offer a market for their crops, and invest in the health and education of their communities.
Another fact that could have been readily checked is our work with the World Wildlife Fund. Blodgett’s essay states that Cargill “apparently hasn’t sought … advice” from WWF leader Jason Clay. In fact, not only have we sought Clay’s advice, we have a partnership with WWF to define better environmental management practices for key commodities. Moreover, WWF has shared its views with us in many meetings and Clay specifically in forums with Cargill’s leaders.
Can the largest, most-respected environmental nonprofits be wrong about the merits of public-private partnerships? Any read of recent literature would suggest that if we are to sustain important places like the Amazon biome, it will take all of us.
Blodgett’s most illogical claim is that Cargill may “pursue its goals with little government interference or public scrutiny” because it is a private company. We are subject to and comply with the laws and regulations of all of the 67 countries in which we operate — and gladly so, because laws are the foundation of civil societies. Beyond that, we publicly report our financial results and regularly discuss our investment and operational activities. We understand that today’s world demands greater transparency about where our food comes from and how it is produced. At Cargill we do not shrink from this scrutiny; we embrace it.
Through the years, despite the efforts of those who fear science, food production has become more global and efficient, and, as a result, more people have access to a wider variety of safe food at a relatively low cost. But farmers and Cargill know that to continue to build on these advances and feed an additional 2 billion people in the coming decades, we will need to do so responsibly and sustainably.
Mike Fernandez is vice president for corporate affairs at Cargill.
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|Monday Dec 02, 2013 - Wis. trucker faces sentencing in Koch cyberattack
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A Wisconsin truck driver who joined a cyberattack on Wichita-based Koch Industries will learn his fate for the onslaught that briefly took the company's website offline.
Eric Rosol, of Black Creek, Wis., faced sentencing Monday in U.S. District Court in Wichita on one misdemeanor count of accessing a protected computer.
Prosecutors agreed in Rosol's plea deal to recommend a sentence at the low end of federal guidelines.
Koch's website was offline for about 15 minutes during the February 2011 attack organized by the hacking group Anonymous.
The parties agreed the direct loss to Koch was less than $5,000. But Koch contends it spent $183,000 for a consulting group when it learned of the planned attack.
U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren will decide how much restitution Rosol must pay.
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|Sunday Dec 01, 2013 - Suppliers say they'll pass down Pennsylvania fuel tax hike
By Marc Levy
The Associated Press
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania's new transportation law will raise fuel taxes Jan. 1 and the companies that supply gas and diesel in Pennsylvania say razor-thin profit margins leave them little choice but to pass the entire cost increase to the pump.
John Reilly, president of Reilly & Sons in the Philadelphia suburb of Exton, says fuel distributors like his can't just absorb the cost of doing business.
Gov. Tom Corbett and lawmakers who supported the bill have given confusing messages, including the idea that it shifts the tax burden to big oil companies that won't pass it down.
On Jan. 1, taxes will rise by 9.5 cents per gallon of unleaded and 13 cents per gallon of diesel. In the short-term, at least, consumers are expected to see dropping gas prices this winter.
The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at email@example.com.
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|Sunday Dec 01, 2013 - Big rigs haul big business into Amarillo
By Jim McBride
Subfreezing wind chills and biting cold temperatures recently brought Lee Anderson’s trip to Jasper, N.Y., to a grinding halt at Amarillo’s Flying J Travel Plaza.
Anderson, 60, a veteran Alabama owner-operator who has been a trucker for about four decades, said he stops here about once a month to take on fuel, grab something to eat and, on this day, have his truck repaired.
“My brakes froze up and one of my brake chains came apart, so we had to fix that,” he said as a crew dropped the hood on his red 2007 International.
“Mostly I drop at a job site, welding, drilling pipe, stuff like that.”
Anderson said he picks loads through a broker, picks up the freight and hauls it wherever the customer needs it.
“I usually come through here — it’s a gateway — stop in, fuel up, if we need a repair done and get a good meal,” he said before he pulled away from the Flying J after a two-man crew finished pouring fresh brake fluid into his truck.
Thomas Gillies, 53, an independent owner-
operator from Apache Junction, Ariz., drove to Amarillo from Clinton, Okla., on yet another cross-country trek hauling oatmeal.
A trucker since 1984, Gillies typically hauls produce and dropped about $600 on fuel Nov. 22 at the Petro Truck Stop, 8500 E. Interstate 40, as he made his way to Los Angeles to pick up a fresh load.
“I pass through Amarillo four or five times a month. I haul from the West Coast back to the East Coast and back out West,” he said.
“I usually stop right here at the Petro, fuel up or take a break and then I go on,” he said. “I primarily stop here because I know a lot of people who work here because I’ve been a regular for so long.”
Across the highway, Jim Ackerman, 43, a trucker for GW Trucking of Sioux Falls, S.D., stopped at Denny’s on Interstate 40 to warm up and grab a bite.
“We pull a lot of Tyson meats,” Ackerman said as he headed to a rumbling tractor-trailer. “I like it here when it’s not so cold.”
For the Amarillo economy, regulars like Anderson, Gillies and Ackerman mean big business in terms of taxes, hotel stays, and food and fuel purchases.
The interstates that crisscross the city carry thousands of trucks, cars and other vehicles every day.
The stretch from Whitaker Road to Loop 335 along East Interstate 40 averages about 61,000 vehicles daily, and from Loop 335 to Airport Road about 36,000 come through every 24 hours. At Interstate 27 and Hollywood Road, traffic averages about 35,000 trucks, cars and other vehicles a day, according to information from the Texas Transportation Department.
Pilot Flying J, which operates the Pilot Travel Center and the Flying J Travel Plaza, employs 63 people here, including seven restaurant employees who keep food flowing to hungry truckers and interstate travelers.
“Pilot Flying J is proud to operate two stores in Amarillo, Texas, that serve the community and contribute to the local economy,” Lauren Christ, a spokeswoman, said in a statement. “Pilot Flying J hopes that local residents and those traveling through Amarillo will enjoy the convenience and amenities of these stores. The company is proud that these two stores serve the community, as well as fill the needs of professional truck drivers carrying goods to communities across North America.”
Love’s Travel Stops has three Amarillo locations that employ 73 workers. Last year, the company’s Amarillo operations ranked as the second-
largest contributor to total company merchandise sales by city, third-largest contributor to total company gasoline sales by city, fifth-largest contributor to total company diesel sales by city and seventh-largest contributor to total company food service sales by city, according to information from Love’s.
“Our Amarillo locations are consistent performers across the board. This is crucial to the success of Love’s as we look to continue to expand in size and in service to our customers,” said Kealey Dorian, a company spokeswoman who noted that Love’s launched its first Travel Stop in Amarillo in 1981 and will mark its 50th year in business next year. “As we approach this milestone, we celebrate the hardworking employees in Amarillo who have helped us grow into a network of more than 300 stores spanning 39 states”
Buzz David, president and CEO of Amarillo Economic Development Corp., said the EDC doesn’t have specific numbers on the economic impact of trucking here, but he said Amarillo’s location along Interstate 40 and Interstate 27 make it a major player in the regional and national stage.
About 320 Amarillo companies, he said, cater directly to the transportation and trucking industry. They range from transmission shops to CB sales, towing businesses and dealerships.
“You know it’s got to be significant. We’ve got a lot of truck sales. We’ve got a lot of truck repair. We’ve got a lot of truck washes and the truck stops,” he said. “This is where people refuel and stay.”
John Esparza, president of Texas Trucking Association, said one out of every 16 Texas jobs is in the trucking industry.
“It’s well over half a million jobs in the state that are from the trucking industry; that would include not just drivers, but technicians, dispatchers, all the support jobs that the trucking industry provides,” he said, citing the latest available figures from 2011.
More than 80 percent of Texas companies, he said, rely on trucking exclusively to ship their goods. Trucking handles some 2.8 billion tons of freight each day across the Lone Star State.
According to figures from the Secretary of State’s Office, some 50,000 trucking companies call Texas home. Esparza said because many of those companies are owner-operators, he places the figure lower at between 15,000 to 20,000 trucking operations in Texas.
Nationally, the nation’s freight tonnage is expected to increase nearly 70 percent by 2020, according to information from the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics. And every day, some 1,400 people move to Texas and 1,000 babies are born, Esparza said.
“Demand on freight continues to increase,” he said, noting Texas has the 12th largest economy in the world. “You’re going to see a lot more freight coming to this state than there’s ever been. We’re going to be challenged more than we’ve ever been when it comes to moving freight across Texas.”
At Amarillo College’s east campus, located just off I-40, the future of trucking is taking shape one driver at a time.
Bob Matthews, a former trucker and Navy commander who is operations director at the college’s truck driving school, said AC’s program now graduates about 250 drivers a semester, and new classes start about every three weeks.
When they’ve completed AC’s five-week, $2,845 trucking course, drivers can expect to start out at between $45,000 to $50,000 and upwards of $60,000 if they sign on with an oil-related company. Owner-operators, he said, can expect to earn from $100,000 on up.
Trucking companies are clamoring for drivers, he said, and local trucking firms such as Affiliated Foods, Swift Transportation and Lowe’s are lining up to hire them.
“Our biggest one is Affiliated Foods. They hire a lot of people from us,” he said. “There’s always room for school bus drivers. The city’s looking to hire drivers all the time.
The college’s trucking class, he said, includes all the basics and covers the cost of a Transportation Department physical, defensive driving, written exams, skills tests, safety and hazardous materials training and a Class A Commercial Driver’s License when the student meets all the Texas Department of Public Safety requirements.
Students also earn their forklift operator certification, an additional, bankable skill, Matthews said.
The future of trucking looks bright, but Texas, like many other states, continues to face a shortage of drivers, Esparza said.
Matthews said the industry is short 30,000 drivers. By 2020, the federal government anticipates there will be a shortages of more than 300,000 drivers as older truckers retire.
“Right now, a CDL is a permit to work,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of drivers who are in that 45 to 55 age range and nobody’s coming up.”
Jim McBride can be reached at 806-345-3354 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Jim on Twitter @https://twitter.com/#!/jimi52.
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