U.S., Mexico reach sugar pact without backing from U.S. producers | Reuters – News

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By David Lawder and Chris Prentice

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK Mexico agreed to significant concessions on Tuesday to maintain its access to the lucrative U.S. sugar market, but U.S. sugar producers refused to endorse the deal between the governments, raising the risk that it could collapse.

The agreement in principle between U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo aims to aims to avoid steep duties on Mexican sugar and resolve a longstanding trade dispute between the United States and Mexico as the two countries and Canada prepare to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement this year.

Under the deal, Mexico would sharply reduce the share of refined sugar in its exports to the United States, while increasing its share of raw sugar exports and the agreement lifts the minimum prices for Mexican imports. (See Factbox)

“We have gotten the Mexican side to agree to nearly every request made by U.S. industry to address flaws in the current system and ensure fair treatment of American sugar growers and refiners,” Ross told a news conference.

Still, Ross said the U.S. sugar producers had told him that they could not accept the deal in its current form, but he hoped that they would agree to some changes in a final drafting of the agreement in the next several days.

He did not elaborate on what action the Commerce Department would take if there were no final agreement with the U.S. producers.

The negotiations were an attempt to settle an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy case brought by a coalition of cane and beet farming groups and ASR Group, the maker of Domino Sugar that is owned by the politically well-connected Fanjul family of Florida.

While the limits on refined sugar from Mexico at 30 percent were significantly below the previous 53 percent limit, these groups had initially pushed for a 15 percent limit.

Sources on both sides of the border had said on Monday that the U.S. sugar industry had added new demands outside of the terms agreed on earlier yesterday by the two governments.

The American Sugar Alliance said it objected to the new deal because it said that Mexico would still be able to ship in refined sugar to meet additional U.S. demand above quota, rather than the U.S. Department of Agriculture having the final decision over the type of sugar that was shipped.

It was also unclear whether Ross would simply impose the settlement on the industry if the U.S. producers did not sign onto it.


The agreement, if finalized, was expected to avert potential retaliation from Mexico on imports of U.S. high-fructose corn syrup which had worried corn growers and refiners.

“Avoiding a trade war will benefit everyone, and I’m glad that this years-long trade dispute is finally reaching its end,” said Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, adding that Ross balanced all interests in the negotiations.

U.S. refiners have complained that high-quality Mexican raw sugar was going straight to sugar consumers, rather than passing through U.S. refineries.

The deal would mark the culmination of a multi-year dispute between the countries over sugar, after U.S. groups in 2014 asked the government for protection from subsidized exports from Mexico to the U.S.In 2014, the U.S. government slapped large duties on Mexican sugar but hammered out a deal with Mexico that suspended those levies. Factions of the U.S. industry have said that the deal has failed to eliminate harm to U.S. producers from Mexican imports.

ASR and fellow cane refiner Imperial Sugar, owned by commodities firm Louis Dreyfus Company BV [AKIRAU.UL], have said they are being starved of raw supplies under the current deal. They have asked the U.S. government to terminate the pact.

The latest talks began in March, two months after U.S. President Donald Trump took office vowing a tougher line on trade to protect U.S. industry and jobs.

(Additional reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington, Anthony Esposito and Dave Graham in Mexico City and Chris Prentice in New York.; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Meredith Mazzilli, David Chance and Lisa Shumaker)

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When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

Caterpillar to rally 30% on construction equipment turnaround

Investors should buy Caterpillar because the company will report earnings this year significantly above Wall Street expectations, according to Goldman Sachs, which reiterated its buy rating on the equipment manufacturer and added the company to its Americas conviction buy list.

“Construction machinery demand is in the early stages of recovery, with significant scope for inventory restock,” analyst Jerry Revich wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. “A modest construction recovery in key regions, compounded by normalization in machinery share of capex should drive strong demand growth off of historically low levels.”

It is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider one’s vows.

Originally posted 2017-04-05 22:22:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Drug-delivery method holds promise for controlling crop parasites — ScienceDaily News

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University are applying drug-delivery technology to agriculture to control parasitic roundworms more effectively and safely.

The tiny roundworms, or nematodes, cause $157 billion in crop failures worldwide each year, other researchers estimate, largely because they’re beyond the reach of pesticides. The chemicals disperse poorly into soil, while the parasites feed at plant roots well below the surface.

As a result, farmers apply large amounts of pesticides, which can increase the chemical concentrations in food or run off and damage other parts of the environment, all of which have costs.

But biomedical engineering researchers at Case Western Reserve may have found an effective solution.

“We use biological nanoparticles — a plant virus — to deliver a pesticide,” said Paul Chariou, a PhD student in biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve and author of a study on the process published in the journal ACS Nano. “Use of the nanoparticle increases soil diffusion while decreasing the risk of leaching and runoff, reducing the amount of chemical in food crops and reducing the cost to treat crops.”

Chariou worked with Nicole Steinmetz, the George J. Picha Professor in Biomaterials appointed by the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.

Parasitic nematodes feed on a wide range of crops, including corn, wheat, coffee, soybeans, potatoes and a host of fruit trees. Damage they cause at the roots impairs the plants’ ability to absorb water and nutrients, which can kill young plants and reduce yields in mature plants.

To try to deliver more pesticide to the roots, the researchers used tobacco mild green mosaic virus (TMGMV). The virus is used in Florida as a pesticide to control an invasive weed, but is benign to nematodes.

TMGMV can infect tomatoes, eggplant and other solenaceous plants, but is not a threat to nearly 3,000 other plant species that suffer nematode infections.

The virus self-assembles into a tube-like structure, 300 nanometers long by 18 nanometers wide, with a hollow channel 4 nanometers wide.

As a proof of concept for this study, the researchers tested the plant virus-derived nanoparticles with a nematicide called crystal violet, which has been used to kill nematodes on skin but not in agriculture.

The researchers capitalized on surface chemistry to load the positively charged crystal violet molecules into the negatively charged channel of the virus-nanoparticle. Each virus particle carried about 1,500 crystal violet molecules.

In lab experiments with conditions mimicking crop soils with a pH of 5, the nematicide remained attached as the virus particles were applied to and diffused through the soil. “At the root level, the nematicide diffuses out of the virus over time,” Chariou said. Warmer and more acidic soils caused the chemical to be released faster.

In testing with the nematode Caenorhabdiis elegans, in a liquid culture, the scientists confirmed that nematodes were paralyzed and killed by treatment with the drug-infused virus-nanoparticle — this is because the drug diffuses out of its carrier over time allowing it to interact with the nematodes. As a secondary killing mechanism, the researcher also noted that the roundworms were eating the nanoparticles. The crystal violet was released in the animals’ stomachs, paralyzing and killing them.

Most importantly, nematicide-carrying virus particles dispersed better when applied to the soil surface and made more molecules available to kill nematodes at the root level.

Chariou and Steinmetz are now testing the delivery system using chemical pesticides approved for crops and developing a computer model to better understand and, ultimately, optimize the nanoparticle’s ability to diffuse through soil.

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For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Heavy Construction News – Variable speed limits could reduce crashes, ease congestion in highway work zones — ScienceDaily

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As the summer months approach, most people turn to thoughts of sunshine, outdoor barbecues and destination trips. Yet travelers often are greeted by detours, lane closures and delays for road repairs that generally are reserved for warmer weather. Researchers at the University of Missouri have studied systems to alleviate inevitable backups and delays. Researchers found that using variable speed limits in construction zones may ease congestion, reduce crashes and make work zones safer for both workers and travelers nationally.

With assistance from the Missouri Department of Transportation, Praveen Edara, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in the MU College of Engineering, tested the use of variable advisory speed limit (VASL) systems and the effect they may have on lessening congestion and reducing rear-end and lane-changing accidents on a fairly dangerous stretch of I-270, a major four-lane highway in St. Louis.

“The idea was to see if warning drivers of slower speeds ahead helped reduce crashes,” Edara said. “Where there is queueing, if drivers are not aware of the queue downstream, they don’t have enough time to hit the brakes to slow down or stop, thus, increasing the likelihood of a crash. Instead of posting a message asking them to slow down, the VASL system posts an advisory speed limit based on the actual downstream traffic speed, so drivers would know that if they’re driving 50 mph, they should slow to 30 mph downstream.”

Edara’s data collection and simulation analysis uncovered a few key pieces of data. First, the use of VASL systems is effective in gradually slowing drivers as they enter work zones. VASL use resulted in a 39 to 53 percent decrease in average queue length, and just a 4 to 8 percent increase in travel time.

Additionally, using VASL meant that maximum speed differences also decreased by as much as 10 mph, and the chance of rear-end collisions dropped by 30 percent. Researchers also noted a 20 percent decrease in lane changing conflicts. Essentially, travel time was slightly longer, but lines were shorter and collisions were less frequent.

“You can get both safety benefits and mobility benefits by deploying variable advisory speed limit systems in work zones,” Edara said.

“Evaluation of variable advisory speed limits in congested work zones” recently was published in the Journal of Transportation Safety and Security. Carlos Sun, an MU professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Yi Hou a doctoral student at Mizzou, co-authored the study.

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Materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Heavy Construction News – Engineer unveils new spin on future of transistors with novel design — ScienceDaily

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An engineer with the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at The University of Texas at Dallas has designed a novel computing system made solely from carbon that might one day replace the silicon transistors that power today’s electronic devices.

“The concept brings together an assortment of existing nanoscale technologies and combines them in a new way,” said Dr. Joseph S. Friedman, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at UT Dallas who conducted much of the research while he was a doctoral student at Northwestern University.

The resulting all-carbon spin logic proposal, published by lead author Friedman and several collaborators in the June 5 issue of the online journal Nature Communications, is a computing system that Friedman believes could be made smaller than silicon transistors, with increased performance.

Today’s electronic devices are powered by transistors, which are tiny silicon structures that rely on negatively charged electrons moving through the silicon, forming an electric current. Transistors behave like switches, turning current on and off.

In addition to carrying a charge, electrons have another property called spin, which relates to their magnetic properties. In recent years, engineers have been investigating ways to exploit the spin characteristics of electrons to create a new class of transistors and devices called “spintronics.”

Friedman’s all-carbon, spintronic switch functions as a logic gate that relies on a basic tenet of electromagnetics: As an electric current moves through a wire, it creates a magnetic field that wraps around the wire. In addition, a magnetic field near a two-dimensional ribbon of carbon — called a graphene nanoribbon — affects the current flowing through the ribbon. In traditional, silicon-based computers, transistors cannot exploit this phenomenon. Instead, they are connected to one another by wires. The output from one transistor is connected by a wire to the input for the next transistor, and so on in a cascading fashion.

In Friedman’s spintronic circuit design, electrons moving through carbon nanotubes — essentially tiny wires composed of carbon — create a magnetic field that affects the flow of current in a nearby graphene nanoribbon, providing cascaded logic gates that are not physically connected.

Because the communication between each of the graphene nanoribbons takes place via an electromagnetic wave, instead of the physical movement of electrons, Friedman expects that communication will be much faster, with the potential for terahertz clock speeds. In addition, these carbon materials can be made smaller than silicon-based transistors, which are nearing their size limit due to silicon’s limited material properties.

“This was a great interdisciplinary collaborative team effort,” Friedman said, “combining my circuit proposal with physics analysis by Jean-Pierre Leburton and Anuj Girdhar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; technology guidance from Ryan Gelfand at the University of Central Florida; and systems insight from Alan Sahakian, Allen Taflove, Bruce Wessels, Hooman Mohseni and Gokhan Memik at Northwestern.”

While the concept is still on the drawing board, Friedman said work toward a prototype of the all-carbon, cascaded spintronic computing system will continue in the interdisciplinary NanoSpinCompute research laboratory, which he directs at UT Dallas.

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Materials provided by University of Texas at Dallas. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

Heavy Construction News – New sound diffuser is ten times thinner than existing designs — ScienceDaily

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Researchers from North Carolina State University and Nanjing University have developed an “ultra-thin” sound diffuser that is 10 times thinner than the widely used diffusers found in recording studios, concert venues and movie theaters to reduce echoes and improve the quality of sound. The new design uses less material, which would reduce cost, as well as taking up far less space.

In a typical room with flat walls, sound waves usually bounce off the walls, like light reflecting off a mirror. This creates echoes and overlapping sound waves that result in uneven sound quality depending on where you are in the room.

“Sound diffusers are panels placed on the walls and ceiling of a room to scatter sound waves in many different directions, eliminating echoes and undesirable sound reflections — ultimately improving the quality of the sound,” says Yun Jing, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at NC State and corresponding author of a paper on the work.

But the most widely used diffusers, called Schroeder diffusers, can be very bulky. That’s because the size of a diffuser is governed by the wavelength of the sound it needs to diffuse. Specifically, the depth of a Schroeder diffuser is about half of the wavelength of the lowest sound it needs to diffuse.

For example, a typical man’s voice can be as low as 85 hertz, with a wavelength of 4 meters or 13.1 feet. If that’s the lowest sound the Schroeder diffuser will have to deal with, the diffuser would need to be roughly 2 meters — or just over 6.5 feet — thick.

But the new, ultra-thin diffuser design requires a thickness that is only 5 percent of the sound’s wavelength. So, instead of being 2 meters thick, it would only be 20 centimeters — or less than 8 inches — thick.

“Diffusers are often made out of wood, so our design would use 10 times less wood than the Schroeder diffuser design,” Jing says. “That would result in lighter, less expensive diffusers that allow people to make better use of their space.”

This reduction in diffuser thickness is made possible by the design of the individual cells in the diffuser.

A Schroeder diffuser looks like a panel of evenly spaced squares, which are identical in length and width, but vary in depth.

The ultra-thin diffuser also consists of evenly spaced squares, but the squares appear to be of different sizes. That’s because each of the squares is actually an aperture that opens into a thin, underlying chamber. These chambers all have identical dimensions, but the size of the apertures varies significantly — accomplishing the same sound diffusion as the much larger Schroeder diffusers.

“We’ve built fully functional prototypes using a 3-D printer, and it works,” Jing says. “The design should work just as well using wood.”

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Materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?

Weather News | Potential For Strong Tornadoes in the Southeast and Ohio Valley

An outbreak of severe thunderstorms has begun.

Some of the same areas hit by severe weather Monday are in Wednesday’s threat area.

Tornadoes, damaging winds, flooding rain and hail are all possible.

Some tornadoes may be strong in the Southeast Wednesday.

Severe storms are also expected along the East Coast Thursday.

Another dangerous severe weather outbreak is underway, including the threat of strong tornadoes, in some of the same areas hit by severe thunderstorms and tornadoes Monday in the Southeast

A tornado watch is in effect until noon CDT for a swath of the Southeast, from the northern Gulf Coast to western Georgia, including Atlanta, Birmingham, Mobile and Pensacola.

Hail up to 2.5 inch diamter – just smaller than a baseball – was observed near Clayton, Alabama, just before 2:30 a.m. CDT. Ladonia and Crawford, Alabama, reported hail up to golfball size before 4 a.m. CDT.

Current Radar with Watches, Warnings

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

Originally posted 2017-04-05 14:04:42. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

U.S., Mexico nearing deal on sugar: Mexico’s Guajardo| Reuters News

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By David Lawder


WASHINGTON The United States and Mexico are close to announcing a deal on sugar trade, Mexican Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo said ahead of a planned news conference on Tuesday after talks went into overtime this week.


Guajardo, in an interview on CNBC, said negotiators worked on “minor technicalities” overnight and would likely unveil the agreement at the event with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.


Ross and Guajardo are scheduled to make an appearance at 1:45 p.m. at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, the U.S. Commerce Department said in a statement.



“Probably by that time we will be announcing that we have made an agreement,” Guajardo said in an interview with the television network.


Ross on Monday extended the deadline for the negotiations by 24 hours to complete “final technical consultations” for a deal.



Sources on either side of the border said the U.S. sugar industry had added new demands outside of the terms agreed on earlier, despite an agreement that had already been struck between the governments.


An agreement in Washington would help avert stiff U.S. duties and Mexican retaliation on imports of American high-fructose corn syrup before wider trade talks expected in August.



A deal also would end a year of wrangling over Mexican sugar exports. The latest talks began in March, two months after President Donald Trump took office vowing a tougher line on trade to protect U.S. industry and jobs.


They are seen as a precursor to the more complex discussions on the North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada.


(Additional reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)


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Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value, but righteousness delivers from death.

First step taken toward epigenetically modified cotton — ScienceDaily News

With prices down and weather patterns unpredictable, these are tough times for America’s cotton farmers, but new research led by Z. Jeffrey Chen at The University of Texas at Austin might offer a break for the industry. He and a team have taken the first step toward a new way of breeding heartier, more productive cotton through a process called epigenetic modification.

In recent decades, scientists have discovered that many traits in living things are controlled not just by their genetics — what’s written in the code of their DNA — but also by processes outside their DNA that determine whether, when and how much the genes are expressed, known as epigenetics. This opens up the possibility of entirely new ways to breed plants and animals. By selectively turning gene expression on and off, breeders could create new varieties without altering the genes.

In this latest study, the researchers identified more than 500 genes that are epigenetically modified between wild cotton varieties and domesticated cotton, some of which are known to relate to agronomic and domestication traits. This information could aid selection for the kinds of traits that breeders want to alter, like fiber yield or resistance to drought, heat or pests. For example, varieties of wild cotton might harbor genes that help them respond better to drought, but have been epigenetically silenced in domesticated cotton.

“This understanding will allow us to supplement genetic breeding with epigenetic breeding,” says Chen, the D. J. Sibley Centennial Professor of Plant Molecular Genetics in the Department of Molecular Biosciences. “Since we know now how epigenetic changes affect flowering and stress responses, you could reactivate stress-responsive genes in domesticated cotton.”

In a study published in the journal Genome Biology, Chen and his colleagues at Texas A&M University and Nanjing Agricultural University in China report they produced a “methylome” — a list of genes and genetic elements that have been switched on or off through a natural process called DNA methylation. A methylome provides important clues for biotechnology firms that want to adapt crops through epigenetic modification. This methylome covers the most widely grown form of cotton, known as Upland or American cotton; its cousin, Pima or Egyptian cotton; and their wild relatives, while showing how these plants changed over more than a million years.

“Knowing how the methylome changed during evolution and domestication will help bring this technology one step closer to reality,” says Chen.

Cotton is the top fiber crop grown in the world, with more than 150 countries involved in cotton export and import. Annual business revenue stimulated by cotton in the U.S. economy exceeds $100 billion, making it America’s No. 1 value-added crop.

The researchers discovered changes in DNA methylation occurred as wild varieties combined to form hybrids, the hybrids adapted to changes in their environment and finally, humans domesticated them. One key finding is that the change that allowed cotton to go from a plant adapted to grow only in the tropics to one that grows in many parts of the world was not a genetic change, but an epigenetic one.

The researchers found that wild cotton contains a methylated gene that prevents it from flowering when daylight hours are long — as they are in the summer in many places, including the United States and China. In domesticated cotton, the same gene lost this methylation, allowing the gene to be expressed, an epigenetic change that allowed cotton to go global.

Chen says modern breeders can modify gene methylation with chemicals or through modified gene-editing technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9. These methods could allow breeders to make targeted changes to a plant’s epigenome and create new breeds with improved traits. Epigenetic breeding could be applied not just to cotton but to many other major crops such as wheat, canola, coffee, potatoes, bananas and corn.

The new research builds on the most complete genetic sequence map of American (or Upland) cotton to date, which was also developed by Chen and his collaborators in 2015.

Earlier research traced the origins of domesticated cotton back 1.5 million years, when two different wild species formed a hybrid that eventually gave rise to modern Upland and Pima cotton species. Chen and his team found that the DNA methylation changes in a similar hybrid made today were shared with those in wild and cultivated cottons, suggesting that these changes have persisted through evolution, selection and domestication. That’s good news for breeders who want to be sure that changes they make today won’t quickly fade away in future generations.

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Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.

Heavy Construction News – ALLU Group Welcomes New Western U.S. Territory Manager :: Story ID: 34628 :: Construction Equipment Guide

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📅   Tue June 06, 2017 – West Edition

Scott Stogsdill

Scott Stogsdill

ALLU Inc., based in Teterboro, N.J., announced Scott Stogsdill as its new territory sales manager of the Western United States. He will be responsible for increasing and working with ALLU’s network of dealers in the Western United States, as well as field sales activities.

Stogsdill brings decades of construction and technology sales experience to ALLU. Prior to joining the company, he served for four years as sales manager, Western U.S. and Mexico, for Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology’s conveyor products division. His experience also includes seven years with FMC Technologies, working in its material handling division as a regional manager and Western distribution manager.

“We are pleased to bring this industry veteran to the U.S. sales team,” said Edgar Chavez, president and CEO of ALLU Inc. “Scott’s experience in dealer and customer relations, along with his industry background, make him an excellent fit for us.”

ALLU Group offers a complete line of technologically advanced screening, crushing and soil stabilizing equipment and attachments for the asphalt, compost, environmental, recycling, green waste, demolition, mining and pipeline industries. ALLU Group is ISO 9001:2000 certified.

For more information, allu.net.

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All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.

Heavy Construction News – Reconstruction Along I-90 in the Heart of Idaho’s Silver Valley :: Story ID: 34608 :: Construction Equipment Guide

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📅   Tue June 06, 2017 – West Edition #12
Jennifer Rupp

Scarsella Bros. performs bituminous removal to subgrade.

Scarsella Bros. performs bituminous removal to subgrade.

The small town of Mullan in Shoshone County, Idaho, marks the start of a 4.5-mi. reconstruction project along I-90 extending east to the Idaho/Montana state line. By the 1980s, this area known as the Silver Valley, had produced more than a billion ounces of silver, 3 million tons of zinc, and 8 million tons of lead, totalling more than $6 billion in value, ranking the valley among the top 10 mining districts in world history, according to the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

N.A.Degerstrom Inc. of Spokane Valley, Wash., began work in the fall of 2014 with the bridge overlay in the westbound lane of I-90. Work continued with traffic reductions to a single lane in each direction, utilizing crossovers where necessary.

Prime Contractor ACME Concrete Paving of Spokane headed up the paving, using 50,000 sq. yds. of asphalt. Frank Gurney Inc., also of Spokane, worked on all guardrail metal and concrete, crash attenuators, delineation and snow poles. Zannetti Brothers, based in Osburn, Idaho, hauled out 82,000 cu. yds. of excavation and hauled in base. Scarsella Bros Inc. of Kent, Wash., was responsible for removal of obstructions, bituminous and concrete, all drainage, dirt work, runaway truck ramp repairs, slope repair, and ¾ base placement.

The roadway was fully opened in mid-November with some miscellaneous change order work to resume in spring of 2017.

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) made accommodations to minimize delays and traffic interruptions.

“Don’s Towing Service was staged on the project 24/7 due to our single lanes placed in between porta rail. This assured traffic delays would be 15 minutes or less,” said Chris Williams, ITD transportation principal.

The town saw an uptick in business with ITD employees and out-of-town contractors renting houses, hotels and RV spots, as well as frequenting local restaurants and gas stations for the two years of construction.

During the 1970s, nearly half of the nation’s silver production came from the Silver Valley. While mining still plays a part in the local economy, there has recently been a shift to outdoor recreation, tourism and light manufacturing.

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and partners have designated the Valley a “Superfund” site to clean up all the heavy metals from the smelters. Superfund is a United States federal government program designed to fund the cleanup of sites contaminated with hazardous substances and pollutants. It was established by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA).

“It makes working in the Valley a little more stringent than most areas,” said Williams, but despite any delays caused by the Superfund site, ITD and contractors pulled together to complete the project on time.


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What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

Heavy Construction News – Construction Industry Adding Jobs at Rapid Clip

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Construction firms continued adding new jobs at a faster rate than the broader economy during the past year.

📅   Tue June 06, 2017 – National Edition


Construction employment increased to the highest level since October 2008. (www.fotosearch.com photo)

Construction employment increased to the highest level since October 2008. (www.fotosearch.com photo)


Construction employment increased by 11,000 jobs in May to the highest level since October 2008 and average weekly hours set a series high for May as contractors struggled to find enough workers to meet demand for projects, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials urged lawmakers and other public officials to address the growing shortage of available qualified workers by funding and re-invigorating career and technical education programs.

“Construction firms continued adding new jobs at a faster rate than the broader economy during the past year as demand for their services remains strong,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Even so, they had to keep employees on the job for more hours because they could not find enough qualified people to hire.”

Construction employment totaled 6,881,000 in May, a gain of 11,000 from the April total and an increase of 191,000 or 2.9 percent from a year ago. The year-over-year growth rate was almost double the 1.6 percent rise in total nonfarm payroll employment, Simonson noted. The sector’s unemployment rate in May was 5.3 percent, up slightly from 5.2 percent a year ago but one of the lowest May levels in decades.

The economist noted that average weekly hours in construction rose to 39.9, the highest May figure since the series began in 2006. Average hourly earnings in the industry climbed to $28.55, an increase of 2.2 percent from a year earlier. Construction pays nearly 9 percent more per hour than the average nonfarm private sector job in the United States, which pays $26.22 on average per hour.

Residential construction — comprising residential building and specialty trade contractors — added 7,100 jobs in May and 191,000, or 4.7 percent, over the past 12 months. Nonresidential construction (building, specialty trades, and heavy and civil engineering construction) employment increased by 4,400 jobs in May and 71,300, or 1.7 percent, over 12 months.

Construction officials said construction labor shortages were becoming more severe in many parts of the country after years of under-investment in career and technical education programs, which used to be called vocational education. They urged Congress and the Trump administration to enact a measure to increase funding, and flexibility, for the Perkins Act, which provides federal funds for career and technical education. And they urged state and local leaders to make it easier for construction firms and local associations to set up regional recruiting and training programs.

“It is time for elected officials to get the word out to students that construction offers high-paying jobs with upward mobility,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “The best way to deliver that message is to provide the funding and flexibility to set up programs that expose more students to the opportunities that exist in construction careers.”

For more information, call 703/548-3118 or visit www.agc.org.

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So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.


New Spark-Ignited Generators Fit Wide Range of Applications

Heavy Construction News


📅   Fri June 02, 2017 – National Edition


The Cummins C100N6 is the largest of the 45-kW-to-100-kW spark-ignited family of generators.

The Cummins C100N6 is the largest of the 45-kW-to-100-kW spark-ignited family of generators.


The Cummins C100N6 is the largest of the 45-kW-to-100-kW spark-ignited family of generators and offers a wide range of features that enable it to fit a wide range of applications. The unit runs on either natural gas or propane without any additional hardware changes. It can be switched on the fly using software control, providing more flexibility to contractors and customers while reducing complexity in the installation process, according to the manufacturer.

“These new products are powered by Cummins QSJ5.9G engine, which is based on the legendary Cummins 6B5.9 engine, using spark-ignited lean-burn technology. It meets exhaust emissions requirements without the need for aftertreatment,” said Mark Westphal, technical project leader.

The generators come with a wide range of features, including the Cummins user-friendly PowerCommand 1.1 control, which offers current and power metering; an exerciser function, for improved dependability; and electronic overcurrent protection for enhanced reliability.

They also offer 100 percent-rated LSI circuit breakers and an optional third generator-mounted breaker, reducing the project cost by fully utilizing the breaker capacity.

These models also are compatible with the Cummins PowerCommand 500 and 550 remote monitoring solutions, offering remote monitoring, diagnostics, troubleshooting and email notifications. That allows customers to remotely monitor up to 12 devices, including the generator and transfer switch. They also have the Cummins brushless alternator, with an available full single-phase reconnectable option, reducing the complexity of configurations and providing more flexibility.

Another key feature of the new design is the aluminum enclosure. These new models have an advanced aluminum sound-attenuated enclosure that has been designed in an acoustical testing center. These enclosures have been designed to be quiet, and have been tested to a 180-mph wind rating, providing protection against extreme weather and environmental conditions.

For more information, visit power.cummins.com.

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The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?


Originally posted 2017-06-02 05:00:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.

Originally posted 2017-03-31 03:21:23. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Oil resumes slide on worries Middle East rift could sap drive to cut output| Reuters News

Heavy Construction Photos

By Henning Gloystein


SINGAPORE Oil prices on Tuesday resumed their slide from the previous session, hit by concerns that a political rift between Qatar and several Arab states would undermine an OPEC-led push to tighten the market.


Persistent gains in U.S. production also dragged on benchmark crude prices, traders said.


Brent crude futures LCOc1 were trading at $49.15 per barrel at 0119 GMT, down 32 cents, or 0.65 percent from their last close. That was more than 8 percent below May 25, when an OPEC-led policy to cut oil output was extended into the first quarter of 2018.


U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 had dropped 32 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $47.08 per barrel. That was down over 7.5 percent from May 25.



The Arab world’s biggest powers cut ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of support for Islamist militants and Iran.


Steps taken include closing down transport links with Qatar and preventing ships coming from or going to the small peninsular nation. That includes the port and docking area of Fujairah, in the United Arab Emirates, used by Qatari oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers to take on new shipping fuel.


With production capacity of about 600,000 barrels per day (bpd), Qatar’s crude output ranks as one of the smallest among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, but tension within the cartel could weaken the supply deal aimed at supporting prices.



“A potential risk to monitor might be that Qatar will view this as being provided with less encouragement to comply with the agreed production quota,” said Jameel Ahmad of futures brokerage FXTM.


Although Qatar is a relatively small oil producer, other OPEC states could see such an action as a reason to stop restraining their own output, traders said.



Worries over the outlook for OPEC’s drive to rein in production come amid bulging supplies from elsewhere, especially the United States.


U.S. crude production has jumped over 10 percent since mid-2016 to 9.34 million barrels per day (bpd) C-OUT-T-EIA, levels close to top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia.


“The relentless increase in U.S. oil production appears to have the market worried that the OPEC cuts will be completely nullified by the increased U.S. production,” William O’Loughlin, analyst at Australia’s Rivkin Securities, wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday.


(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford)


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The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?