Saturday, August 30, 2008

Oshkosh Corp. Earns Top Employer Support Award

Oshkosh Corp. is slated to receive the Defense Department's top award next month for supporting its employees who volunteer to serve in the National Guard and reserves.
The Oshkosh, Wis.-based company will be among 15 employers nationwide to receive the 2008 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award during a Sept. 18 ceremony here.

The Freedom Award is the highest recognition the U.S. government gives to employers for outstanding support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and reserves.

Company employees nominated Oshkosh, which designs and builds military vehicles and vehicle bodies, for the award for creating an environment they said made its employees who serve in the military feel not just accepted, but also applauded and rewarded.

Marine Corps Maj. Dion Angling, a company employee, reported that the company hosted a special going-away dinner before he deployed to Iraq in 2006, sent him care packages while he was gone, and hosted a welcoming lunch on his return. His co-workers surprised him by decorating his office for the occasion.

Army Capt. Nguyen Trinh, another company employee, praised Oshkosh for giving him the time he needed to prepare for his upcoming deployment, and keeping up its support when he was deployed.

"My company was very proactive in ensuring that I understood all the benefits I would continue to receive during my deployment, and what I could expect upon my return. The company has reached out to my wife by taking an interest in her well-being," he said. "I am very fortunate to work for such a great organization."

Oshkosh demonstrates its support for its citizen-soldiers in other ways, too. A "Wall of Honor" appears at each plant, displaying reserve-component members' photos and profiles. The company contributes to deployed employees' unit family support groups and has coordinated transportation for their Guard and reserve employees to visit their families.

The company also contributes to the Marine Corps Reserves' Toys for Tots program, regularly attends military hiring conferences seeking current and former servicemembers for its management positions, and pays the difference between its employees' civilian and military pay while they're on active duty.

Robert G. Bohn, Oshkosh chairman and chief executive officer, said the company is honored to receive recognition for the support it provides its employees serving on active duty.

"Our company continued to succeed, not only because of the strength of our product and services, but also because of the integrity of our people," he said. "We are grateful for these employees who are essential in helping Oshkosh succeed while also serving the country in a separate capacity, and to support them is the right thing to do."

Gordon Summer, executive director of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, credits employers like Bohn with ensuring citizen-soldiers are able to carry out their important dual roles.

"In the military, the best leaders are those who always take care of their people – and it is no different in the civilian workplace," he said. "Oshkosh Corp. has shown that it takes care of its people. Its employees who are also reserve and Guard members know the company is helping take care of their family while they are away serving this country."

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
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Friday, August 29, 2008

Dillard's, Inc. Announces Travel Agency Closure

Dillard's Inc. (DDS-NYSE) (the "Company or "Dillard's") announced that it is closing its Dillard's Travel agency. The agency currently operates in 43 of the Company's 318 stores and employs approximately 160 associates. Dillard's remains committed to servicing existing customers who have pending travel booked through Dillard's Travel. The Company has retained certain travel managers who are dedicated to ensuring exceptional customer service throughout all existing bookings. The agency is no longer booking new travel arrangements.

The agency closure is a result of the Company's ongoing review and closure of under-performing units under appropriate conditions. Dillard's is currently working with the associates of Dillard's Travel to relocate them to positions in the stores. Dillard's Executive Travel, based in Little Rock, will remain in operation and will continue to service its corporate clients as well as the travel needs of the Company.

Dillard's, Inc. is one of the nation's largest fashion apparel and home furnishing retailers. The Company's stores operate with one name, Dillard's, and span 29 states. Dillard's stores offer a broad selection of merchandise, including products sourced and marketed under Dillard's exclusive brand names.
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Thursday, August 28, 2008

SBA Broadens Office of Business and Community Initiatives To Focus on Financial Literacy, Entrepreneurial Education

The U.S. Small Business Administration is re-launching one of its primary entrepreneurial training divisions to broaden its focus into a one-stop shop for information on how to start, maintain or grow a small business, including an emphasis on financial literacy.

The newly renamed Office of Entrepreneurship Education (OEE) will be a division of the Office of Entrepreneurial Development, which provides small business training, counseling and access to resources.

“SBA is excited to re-launch the Office of Entrepreneurship Education because it will help build small business ownership and strengthen SBA’s focus on improving the economies of underserved markets through small business ownership,” said SBA Acting Administrator Jovita Carranza. “It will also help us move forward President Bush’s agenda to increase financial literacy, which is critical to advancing America’s economy.”

“Financial education is a critical first step to owning your own business,” said Council Chairman Charles Schwab. “With the SBA's leadership, would-be entrepreneurs are going to have access to the kind of financial education necessary to be successful."

“Entrepreneurship is such a natural option for so many individuals living in underserved communities across America,” said John Hope Bryant, vice-chairman of the President’s Council on Financial Literacy and founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE. “In fact, it is precisely a generation of minority entrepreneurs, rooted in an understanding of financial literacy, the language of money and free enterprise and capitalism, that will best move a community from underserved to adequately served. That is the need that the new SBA Office of Entrepreneurship Education will help to fill, and the President’s Council is honored to support the SBA in this important initiative.”

OEE combines SBA’s online education programs, business and community initiatives, and youth outreach under a single umbrella, and will serve as a federal clearinghouse for information related to small business development.

The office will place special emphasis on the agency’s youth entrepreneurship activities to help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship education has become one of the strongest vehicles to deliver financial literacy at the high school and college levels. Recently,
SBA worked with the Aspen Institute’s Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy Group to address such topics as aligning youth entrepreneurship within the educational system and with government resources, and clarifying the role of the private and public sectors.

The new office complements SBA’s efforts to accelerate delivery of its products and services to underserved markets, such as inner cities and rural communities, including initiatives designed to generate jobs and business growth to strengthen local economies in these areas. SBA’s Emerging 200 program, launched earlier this year, supports promising businesses in 10 inner cities across the country through rigorous education and training programs. Rural Lender Advantage, a loan program that simplifies SBA lending for smaller and rural lenders, was rolled out in 10 states last year by SBA’s Office of Capital Access and will be available nationwide in the fall.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stites & Harbison Receives Multiple Honors

Stites & Harbison has been honored by two prestigious legal publications for their work on clients’ behalf.

First, Incisive Media recently named Stites & Harbison as a 2008 Go-To Law Firm® for Leading Financial Services Companies. The firm was named a Go-To Law Firm® for legal work done in the areas of Litigation and Labor & Employment. Less than one-half of one percent of all law firms in the U.S. and abroad receive the Go-To Law Firm® honor.

In addition, 45 Stites & Harbison attorneys firmwide were recognized in Super Lawyers magazine. Super Lawyers is a guide compiled by Law & Politics Magazine that honors exceptional attorneys, representing a wide range of practice areas, firm sizes and geographic locations. Winners are selected using a multi-step process, including lawyer nominations, peer evaluations and internal research. Only 5% of the lawyers in each state or region are named in Super Lawyers.

Go-To Law Firms® were identified through research conducted by Incisive Media. Researchers asked general counsel at the leading financial services companies which outside law firms they turn to for assistance. Incisive Media’s research department also investigated and gathered data on financial services’ company’s Go-To Law Firms® from various public records resources including court dockets and securities filings, as well as legal and business publications, including The American Lawyer®.

Incisive Media, publisher of Corporate Counsel® magazine, the nation’s leading magazine for general counsel and in-house attorneys at corporations across the country, will publish the second annual reference guide to in-house law departments at the nation’s leading financial services companies. The guide, In-House Law Departments at the Leading Financial Services Companies, will release this summer and will include detailed profiles and contact information for general counsel at these corporations, as well as listings of their current outside Go-To Law Firms® in various practice areas, including litigation, securities, transactions, compliance and intellectual property. The guide will be distributed to more than 10,000 general counsel at financial services companies, and will be available on the Web at www.law.com.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Toyo Tire Announces Third Expansion in Bartow County

Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing, Inc. will create an estimated 400 new jobs and invest $270 million as part of its third expansion since 2004.

“Toyo Tire is an outstanding example of an international manufacturer that has found rapid success in Georgia,” said Governor Perdue. “Our world-class training program, Quick Start, is an invaluable part of the equation in helping Toyo Tire ramp up for its latest expansion.”

Toyo is investing $270 million to more than double the output of the two-year-old plant, increasing total volume to 5.2 million units per year by 2011. Once complete, the expanded facility is expected to house an estimated 850 employees.

The state-of-the-art facility was built to enhance distribution and inventory availability for Toyo’s expanding network of independent dealers currently facing an increased demand for high performance tires. The Bartow County location offers Toyo strategic proximity to rail, air and interstate highway transportation, which will streamline distribution to its dealers by expediting shipments and reducing supply chain costs.

“Toyo has built the most technologically advanced manufacturing facility in its 63-year history in order to provide the highest quality tires for our loyal North American consumers and our valued network of independent tire dealers,” said Mr. Shozo (Carlos) Kibata, senior managing executive officer and president of Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas, Inc. “In an effort to leverage our achievements and create additional opportunities for growth, we are embarking on a strategy to increase plant operations starting with the addition of more than 820,000 square feet to our current facility.”

“Once again Toyo Tire and Bartow County have proven to be a winning team, but the real winners today are the people that will be employed by this expansion,” said Bartow County Sole Commissioner Clarence Brown. “The community has worked hard to facilitate Toyo’s growth at each stage of their expansion. We’re pleased that growth has come so smoothly for them and that they have exceeded their expectations.”

“In its third expansion in four years, Toyo Tire is capitalizing on the outstanding location, strong workforce and business-friendly environment that Georgia offers,” said Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD). “Strong public-private partnerships throughout the expansion process contributed to their success in our state.”

Brooks Mathis, project manager for GDEcD, assisted the company in its expansion.
Tires will be manufactured using Toyo’s highly-automated and proprietary tire production system, Advanced Tire Operation Module (A.T.O.M.). The A.T.O.M. system is designed for multi-product, small-lot production, and enables Toyo to reduce its overall space needs and production lead times.
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Friday, August 22, 2008

Small Business Size: Inflation Adjustment to Size Standards

24-7 — Online Representations and Certifications Application also referred to as (ORCA) has globally updated records to meet inflation. For those that are registered in (ORCA) will see an email from the Administrator "This note is to inform you that (ORCA) was upgraded on August 18, 2008." This requires no additional effort on your part but you should be aware of this change if you are doing business in the Federal Marketplace.

Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration has issued a final rule that adjusts monetary-based small business size standards for inflation. The rule finalizes the Agency's December 6, 2005 interim final rule that also amended monetary-based small business size standards for inflation. However, this rule adds an additional 8.7 percent to the inflation-adjusted size standards of the December 2005 interim final rule. This additional 8.7 percent accounts for inflation that has occurred since then. This rule also adopts the interim final rule's two-step process for determining eligibility for SBA's Business Loan and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Programs. Furthermore, the rule adopts the revised date that SBA uses to determine size status for purposes of EIDL applications for businesses located in declared disaster areas as a result of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective on August 18, 2008.

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Kia supplier Powertech America to Locate in West Point

Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Kia supplier Powertech America plans to locate on the Kia site in West Point, creating 355 jobs and investing $150 million.

“Today’s announcement brings the total number of jobs planned by Kia and its suppliers to more than 6,200 and the total investment to more than $1.7 billion,” said Governor Perdue. “Having the transmission plant locate on site with the assembly facility is a great win for Georgia.”

Powertech America, whose parent company Hyundai Powertech is headquartered in Seosan, Korea, plans to build automatic transmissions for the Kia plant. This will be Powertech’s first U.S. facility. The company has been a supplier to Kia and Hyundai since its formation in 2001. For its new plant in West Point, Powertech America will lease 20 acres on the Kia pad site to build an approximately 213,000-square-foot facility. Production is expected to begin in February 2010.
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Powertech is the latest in a series of Kia suppliers to locate in West Georgia. Others include Hyundai Mobis, GLOVIS, Dongwon Autopart Technology, DongNam Tech, DAEHAN Solution, Sewon America, Sejong Georgia and Johnson Controls. The total number of supplier jobs is estimated at 3,765, and the total investment is expected to top $506 million. With Kia’s planned 2,500 jobs and $1.2 billion investment, the economic impact on West Georgia is continuing to grow.

“We are proud to locate our first U.S. plant here in West Point,” said Il-Soo Jung, director of Hyundai Powertech. “Powertech has a reputation for excellence, and we look forward to making our mark with high-tech 6-speed automatic transmissions in Georgia.”

“Hyundai Powertech represents an exciting opportunity for all of us in Troup County,” said Drew Ferguson III, chairman of the West Point Development Authority. “These are high-paying, skilled jobs and they will complement Kia, Glovis and Mobis to bring an estimated 4,500 jobs on the Kia pad site alone.”

“We are very pleased to have Powertech join the major automobile suppliers in Troup County,” said Diethard Lindner, chairman of the Development Authority of LaGrange. “This is a very significant event because Hyundai and Kia have decided to manufacture automatic transmissions in Troup County instead of importing transmissions from Korea.”

Hyundai Powertech, headquartered in Seosan, Korea, is an industry leader in the manufacturing of automotive transmissions. Founded in 2001, the company aims to make a high-quality product using the best in technology. Hyundai Powertech is affiliated with Hyundai Motors Corp., Kia Motors Corp. and Hyundai Mobis.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Caribbean Hotels Face Several Threats In 2008

PKF Hospitality Research (PKF-HR), an affiliate of PKF Consulting, today announced that it has released its 2008 edition of Caribbean Trends in the Hotel Industry. The report finds that the Caribbean hotel industry faces some strong challenges going forward. After a soft 2006, most Caribbean destinations saw their visitation rates grow in 2007. In 2008, however, the combination of a slow U.S. economy, increased competition, rising energy costs, and threats of reduced air service could result in lower levels of occupancy and profits for the region’s hotel owners and operators.

“Given the region’s dependence on airlift, the most daunting issues facing the Caribbean hotel industry are the rising cost of airfares and the announced cutbacks in air service,“ said Scott Smith, MAI, senior vice president in the Atlanta office of PKF Consulting. “Due mostly to the rising cost of fuel, four of the five leading air carriers to the Caribbean have announced cutbacks in service. Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic could see as many as 26 percent fewer flights in December of 2008 compared to December 2007.” In an effort to maintain air service, the Puerto Rico Port Authority is offering to reduce airport fees by 45 percent.

Not only is the reduced air capacity a concern, but so are rising airfares. “The Caribbean has always been attractive to price-sensitive travelers. If airfares continue to rise, hotels may have to reduce their room rates in an effort to maintain the Caribbean’s position as an affordable destination,” Smith said.

Airlines are not the only mode of transportation impacted by the rise in energy costs. The relatively low cost of Caribbean cruises has made the region the number one cruise market in the world. “Despite the strength of the market, we have seen shifts in the cruise industry that have been influenced by the rising cost of fuel. Cruises to more remote ports in the southern Caribbean, such as Aruba, are being cut from itineraries due to the length of the trip and fuel required to get there,” Smith noted.

Energy Costs

The rising cost of energy is not only impacting transportation, it has perpetuated the high cost Caribbean hotels have to pay for utilities, as well. Utility costs for the average property in the Caribbean Trends sample were 7.3 percent of total revenue, or $8,341 per available room in 2007. This compares to just 3.6 percent, or $3,868 per available room, for comparable U.S. resorts.

In an effort to offset the rising cost of energy, some Caribbean hotels have instituted energy surcharges. Most people believe this is not a permanent solution. The buzz word in the region is to “go green.”

“To preserve the natural beauty of the region, Caribbean resorts have had a long history of being environmentally friendly,” Smith commented. “Hotel operators are now parlaying this experience into energy conservation. In addition to installing cost-cutting equipment, such as efficient light bulbs, showers, toilets, sinks, and air conditioning, Caribbean hoteliers are working with their local energy providers to develop new sustainable technologies. This will not only reduce the cost of operations, but improve the overall economy of the island on which they operate.”

New Competition

Another challenge to Caribbean hotels is the anticipated growth in competitive supply predicted over the next few years. Most major international brands have extensive plans to increase their presence in the region. The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that more than $100 billion has been committed to the development of new hotels in the Caribbean over the next five to six years.

“If you profile the hotel projects that are currently under construction there, you’ll find a preponderance of luxury and upper-upscale properties,” Smith observed. “Like the recent trend in the United States, most of these projects are resorts with a significant residential component and first-class spa.”

Caribbean properties will not just face new competition from within the region. Hotel construction is flourishing throughout Latin America. “Belize and Costa Rica are two markets that are becoming increasingly competitive with the Caribbean as a vacation destination for U.S. citizens, as well as travelers from Europe and South America,” Smith said.

Operating Costs

For the third consecutive year, PKF-HR compared the financial performance of Caribbean hotels with comparable U.S. resorts. The observations continue to be consistent.

“Historically, Caribbean hotels have enjoyed the benefit of paying their employees relatively low salaries and wages. However, due to rising standards of living among the islands, we have started to see a closing of the gap between U.S. and Caribbean labors costs,” Smith noted. Caribbean hotels continue to pay less property taxes than their U.S. counterparts. This is attributable to the level of government subsidies tourist-related businesses frequently receive.

Utility costs are not the only expense that is extraordinarily high for Caribbean hoteliers. “Because of their isolated locations, hotels in the Caribbean need to import the majority of their food and beverage items. Accordingly, the profit margins in this department are lower than would be expected within the United States,” Smith observed. “In addition, Caribbean insurance costs continue to exceed the U.S. average due to the constant risk of hurricanes.”
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ronnie Brownsworth, M.D., Named Chief Executive Officer of the Piedmont Clinic

Ronnie Brownsworth, M.D., has been named CEO of the Piedmont Clinic and executive vice president for Piedmont Healthcare. He succeeds Ray Fernandez, M.D., who is retiring.

Brownsworth will oversee activities of the 563-member Piedmont Clinic, including the Piedmont Physicians Group with more than 90 primary care physicians in 30 offices across metro Atlanta. The Clinic manages payer negotiations and contracts for the physicians, and its membership comes together to enhance and monitor the quality of physician-provided care.

“We are excited about Ronnie joining Piedmont. He brings substantial experience and will be a great asset for the entire Piedmont organization,” said R. Timothy Stack, president and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare.

Previously, Dr. Brownsworth was with St. John's Health System in Springfield, Missouri for 14 years, where he most recently served as division operating officer for St. John’s Health Plans. He established a network including the regional tertiary hospital, five primary care hospitals, 16 affiliated hospitals, 500 employed physicians, 900 affiliated physicians and numerous ancillary care providers. He also served at the Smith, Glynn, Callaway Clinic in Springfield and Springfield Properties. He practiced as a neurologist for 12 years in the Springfield area.

“Piedmont Healthcare is a highly regarded system and has earned numerous recognitions for patient safety and quality. I am extremely pleased to join a healthcare organization like Piedmont,” said Dr. Brownsworth.

A graduate of Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Dr. Brownsworth earned his medical degree at the University of Oklahoma Medical School and his master's in business administration from Missouri State University. He and his wife, Nicole, have five children and are relocating to Atlanta.
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William H. Camp, Retired Archer Daniels Midland Exec, Named Chairman and CEO of Accelegrow Technologies, Inc.

PRNewswire/ -- Accelegrow Technologies, Inc., ( www.accelegrow.com ), announced today that William H. (Bill) Camp, former Executive Vice President of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE:ADM) , has been named Chairman and CEO of Accelegrow Technologies, Inc., effective Aug. 6. Mr. Camp has served on the Board of Directors of Accelegrow, a West Point, Ga.-based agriscience company, since January this year.

He succeeds Gerald B. Andrews Sr., Accelegrow Chairman and CEO since the company's operations began in 2006. Mr. Andrews, who made the announcement, will remain on Accelegrow's Board.

Mr. Camp retired at the end of 2007 as Executive Vice President -- Asian Strategy from Archer Daniels Midland, with 30 years experience in the agricultural industry. Archer Daniels Midland is a world leader in the manufacture of food, feed and biofuels. Headquartered in Decatur, Ill., ADM has over 27,000 employees in more than 240 processing plants with sales of $69.8 billion for fiscal year 2008.

"Bill Camp's reputation in the agriculture processing industry is outstanding -- including his vast experience in world agricultural markets and his leadership and integrity," said Mr. Andrews. "We have worked diligently to spread the Accelegrow story of our unique patent-pending products across the U.S., South America and Africa. Now, Bill's extensive market knowledge and distribution experience will lift Accelegrow Technologies to a new level.

"Our research and field tests show that Accelegrow products consistently provide special attributes to the farmer, including increased crop yields, improved quality, stress and drought resistance, consistent performance and sustainability producing healthier plants and accelerated growth cycles," Mr. Andrews explained.

Before his assignment as Executive Vice President - Asian Strategy, Mr. Camp served as Executive Vice President - Global Processing from 2005, responsible for global manufacturing, grain handling and transportation operations. He was previously Senior Vice President from 2001, responsible for ADM's global oil seeds, cocoa and wheat milling operations. He was elected an ADM corporate vice president in 1993 and was named President - ADM Transportation, overseeing ADM barge operations, the American River Transportation Company (ARTCO) and ADM trucking and railroad operations. He also served as President - ADM South American Division and President - ADM North American Oilseed Processing division. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois.

Prior to becoming Accelegrow Chairman and CEO, Mr. Andrews was Executive Vice President of WestPoint Stevens, Inc., based in New York City, where he retired after 38 years in a range of management positions. He was next CEO and President of Johnston Industries, Inc., before retiring again in five years. He then served as Executive-in-Residence at Auburn (Ala.) University. He attended Auburn University and Harvard Business School and is a Senior Fellow of The Textile Institute, Manchester, England.

Accelegrow, an agriscience company established in West Point, Ga., in 2006, produces unique, patent-pending fertilizer supplements that significantly increase the performance of plant life for food, fiber, fuel and forestry production. These supplements are specifically engineered to support farmers and producers faced with crop stress and drought conditions. Accelegrow Technologies' extensive research and development encompasses all the leading market crops -- including cotton, corn, soybeans, wheat, rye, sugarcane, peanuts, vegetables, hay, pasture, flowers and trees. Extensive research has proven Accelegrow supplements uniquely effective in increasing dry carbon biomass for ethanol and biofuel conversion and in the emerging carbon credit market. On the World Wide Web, Accelegrow is www.accelegrow.com .

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ArunA Biomedical Announces Exclusive Worldwide Technology Licensing Agreement to Commercialize Human Embryonic Stem Cell Derived Mesenchymal Cells

PRNewswire/ -- ArunA Biomedical, Inc., a leader in human embryonic stem cell derived products, announced today that it has entered into an exclusive worldwide technology licensing agreement with the University of Georgia Research Foundation that will enable the company to commercialize human mesenchymal cells developed at the University of Georgia.

Under the terms of the agreement, ArunA has acquired an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize human mesenchymal cells (hMSC(TM)) derived from human embryonic stem cells, a product never before available. ArunA will offer the academic and industrial research communities access to a highly uniform population of human mesenchymal cells grown as adherent monolayer cultures in multiple turn-key kit formats. The hMSC kits will provide a physiologically relevant and genetically stable source of research material for use in a broad range of life science research applications such as: developmental pathway studies, disease modeling, in vitro toxicology, compound screening and humanized animal models.

"ArunA's proprietary adherent monolayer culture technology creates millions of highly uniform cells. These unique cells provide researchers with new enabling tools that can have a measurable impact on the advancement of drug discovery," says ArunA Biomedical President and Chief Executive Officer, William Sharp. "We are targeting an early first quarter 2009 launch of ArunA's first hMSC kit."

According to Robert Nerem, the Parker H. Petit Distinguished Chair for Engineering in Medicine at the Georgia Institute of Technology, "One of the most important uses of human embryonic stem cells will be in the generation of uniform populations of adult stem cells and progenitor cells. It is thus exciting that ArunA Biomedical will be able to provide uniform cell populations of human mesenchymal cells in kit form. This not only will be of value to bench scientists, but also in advancement toward clinical therapies."

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Six Months Out and the DTV Transition is on Track, Says CEA

BUSINESS WIRE --Today marks just under six months until the completed transition to digital television broadcasting in the United States. The following comment can be attributed to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®:

As we approach this historic finish line, I am pleased that decades of hard work, unprecedented public and private partnerships and countless hours of consumer education are working. CEAs market research shows widespread consumer understanding of the transition and those Americans who need to take action are doing so. Many consumers are applying for coupons and purchasing digital-to-analog converter boxes, and even more Americans will purchase a new digital television (DTV). This year more than 32 million sets will sell in the U.S. making this a record-breaking year for DTV sales.

We continue to recognize and understand the need to ensure a smooth DTV transition. Together with our industry and government partners, we are committed to ensuring that television viewers do not lose service because they were not aware of the transition or their options.

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UPS Offers More Air Pickup Options for Urgent Business Needs

BUSINESS WIRE --UPS (NYSE: UPS) today announced significant enhancements to its UPS On-Call Pickupsm service in the United States for air packages, providing customers even more options for todays urgent business demands.

UPS has made On-Call Pickup service for air packages available for the first time in more than 4,000 ZIP codes, and air pickup times have been extended in nearly 6,000 ZIP codes. Together, the enhancements represent improved service for 26 percent of all U.S. businesses.

The enhancements were completed last month and provide customers without a daily scheduled pickup even more flexibility to meet critical deadlines. UPS On-Call Pickup now is available for same-day pickup in most parts of the country. A driver also can be called to make a pickup later in the day even after a regularly scheduled daily pickup.

Customers can have air, ground or international shipments picked up from their home or office simply by scheduling online at UPS.com or by calling 1-800-PICK-UPS.

In addition to more on-call pickup options, there are more than 4,400 The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. locations in the United States offering packaging expertise along with access to the global UPS network. Customers also can easily locate one of the roughly 40,000 UPS Drop Boxes maintained throughout the country. UPS drop boxes can be located under the Locations tab at www.ups.com.

UPS (NYSE: UPS) is the world's largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain and freight services. With more than a century of experience in transportation and logistics, UPS is a leading global trade expert equipped with a broad portfolio of solutions. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., UPS serves more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the Web at UPS.com.
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Cooper Lighting Introduces Halo® LED Recessed Lighting

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cooper Lighting, a division of Cooper Industries, Ltd. (NYSE:CBE) announces the addition of LED recessed lighting to its Halo downlighting product line. Designed for new construction and existing applications, the LED recessed lighting features a Halo LED module that installs into a new construction housing or into existing Halo and All-Pro housings. The new Halo LED downlight offers the benefits of energy savings, long life, improved quality of light, reduced maintenance, and may help to protect the environment by reducing the electrical load and lowering power plant emissions when compared to traditional light sources.

Providing excellent color quality with a rendering of 80 CRI and a warm white color temperature (3045K nominal), the Halo LED recessed fixture delivers over 600 lumens (comparable in light output and light distribution to a 65 watt BR30 lamp or 18 watt compact fluorescent fixture). Its superior optical design provides good cutoff and low glare. The recessed fixture exceeds high efficacy requirements for Californias Title 24, with energy savings in excess of 75% when compared with a 65 watt incandescent lamp. Virtually maintenance-free, the Halo LED fixture is constructed to provide 50,000 hours of life. (The Halo LED fixture could last up to 20 years when used six hours per day.) Plus, for additional energy savings, the LED module is dimmable to approximately 15% using standard AC incandescent analog dimmers and approximately 5% with dimmers that have a low end trim adjustment.

Ideally suited for commercial, hospitality, healthcare, retail and residential applications, the downlight accepts a number of trim options including a reflector, baffle and lensed shower trim.

LEDs are quickly being adopted as an illumination solution for general lighting applications. Energy-conscious markets are focusing on high-efficacy LED lighting systems to capitalize on the longevity and convenience of solid-state lighting. Due to LEDs solid-state principlesno filament to breakthe light source is not susceptible to vibration reducing the risk of premature failure. The sustainability of the fixture dramatically reduces maintenance and service costs over traditional sources. The Halo LED module is designed to last up to five times longer than a fluorescent source or 50 times longer than an incandescent.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Employment Guide: Seniors in the Labor Force Enjoy More Than the Paycheck

BB Note: There is no admission fee to attend, however business attire is required. Bring your resumes.

The Atlanta Spring Diversity Job Fair will be held at the Cobb Galleria Centre on Tuesday, August 26th from 10a.m. until 2p.m.


Hosted by The Employment Guide in partnership with the AARP Foundation, the event will feature approx. 30 companies recruiting for sales, retail, skilled/tech, restaurant, law enforcement, government, factory/warehouse, customer service, entry-level management, career training institutions, and more.

BUSINESS WIRE --The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the share of the labor force aged 55 and older, currently at 17 percent, is rising rapidly and, by 2020, it is projected to be nearly 24 percent. The graying of the labor force can be attributed to many factors: longer life expectancy, significant increases in healthcare costsand boredom.

Chuck Byes spent his entire career as president and owner of Carriers Traffic Service, Inc., a consultant to the motor common carrier industry assuring strict adherence to government regulations for its truck-line clients. As deregulation increased, Byes client base dwindled, and he was forced to close the office and retire. Byes was only 59.

Finding himself with unexpected free time, Byes took to the road in his RV: I visited every traceable relative, some more than once, enjoyed every national park, forest and monument, some more than once, and learned that travelling with your own kitchen, bath and sleeping accommodations doesnt save you that much money in restaurant and motel expenses, he mused. Truth be told, I was bored.

For several years Byes took on odd jobs in consulting and real estate, yet he says he was unfulfilled and, at his age, thought he had few prospects for finding a rewarding job: I was 72 years old, reasonably healthy, reasonably alert, but with nothing useful to do. To my way of thinking at the time, I had little chance of finding anything beyond greeting customers at the local supermarket.

Enter AARP Foundation and The Employment Guide. Thanks to the guidance of AARP Foundation representative Donna Martin at the Department of Economic Security office in Mesa, Arizona, Byes secured a job as circulation manager for The Employment Guides Phoenix office.

Im useful here, I get to use my mind, and I get paid every two weeks! Life is good! he exclaims.

To help bring together more older workers with meaningful jobs, The Employment Guide (www.EmploymentGuide.com) and AARP Foundation (www.AARP.org/foundation), have partnered in the Employ the Older Workers Job Fair Seriesa national effort, reaching more than 55 cities. From late August through October, thousands of job seekers age 40 and older will have the opportunity to meet and interview with employers for a wide variety of positions in industries such as hospitality, retail, government, transportation, telecommunications and customer service.

The job fair series is being held in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labors National Employ Older Workers Week, Sept. 22-26, 2008.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Synovus Named to Georgia Trend’s List of “Georgia’s Top 100 Companies”

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Synovus (NYSE: SNV), the Columbus, Georgia-based financial services company has once again been named to “Georgia’s Top 100 Companies” list by Georgia Trend magazine. Synovus ranks number 19 on the list in the magazine’s August 2008 issue.

“We are honored to be recognized by Georgia Trend along with so many other successful companies throughout the state,” said Synovus Chairman and CEO Richard Anthony.

“Georgia has a wealth of solid, diverse organizations that continue to significantly contribute to its long-term financial stability.”

The annual performance list includes the leading public companies headquartered in the state and ranks them based on revenue as of December 31, 2007. The lists of the top 50 public and top 50 private companies are also available on the magazine’s website at www.georgiatrend.com.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Women for Hire Launches First-Ever Work From Home Expo in Atlanta

Women For Hire's first-ever Work From Home Expo will debut in Atlanta on Saturday, November 1 from 10 AM - 4 PM at Cobb Galleria, located at Two Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339.

Meet face-to-face with top national and local exhibitors to learn about a wide variety of at-home career opportunities, products and services. Get expert advice from inspirational speakers who will empower you to make money on your own terms. Learn inside financial guidance, receive advice on how to succeed while working on your own and access stellar resources that support women.

Raffles and special giveaways throughout the day! Business casual attire. Free admission and parking. Learn more details at www.womenforhire.com or call 212.290.2600.
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Cox Enterprises Announces Plans to Sell Certain Newspapers

PRNewswire -- Cox Enterprises, Inc. announced today that it intends to sell the Austin American-Statesman, its affiliated operations including Austin360.com, and all of Cox's stand-alone community newspapers in North Carolina, Colorado and Texas. Cox also intends to sell Valpak, the nation's leader in cooperative direct mail advertising.

Cox Enterprises will retain ownership of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Palm Beach Post, Dayton Daily News and their affiliated publications.

"This decision was made as part of an ongoing strategic review of our portfolio and enables us to maintain our strong and stable financial performance by further paying down debt," said Jim Kennedy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cox Enterprises. "We will continue to own and operate industry-leading companies, invest in existing businesses and maintain a level of financial discipline that ensures we are well positioned for ongoing success."

Approximately 80 percent of Cox Enterprises' revenues now come from sources other than its traditional advertising-supported media companies (newspapers, television and radio). Moving forward, Cox will continue to strengthen its portfolio of businesses by making significant capital investments that improve their competitive positions. Recent examples include an investment to develop next-generation wireless and mobility services for Cox Communications, Inc. and investments in technology, global expansion and innovative products at Manheim, which is transforming the wholesale vehicle buying and selling experience.

"Newspaper businesses are an important part of Cox's history, and we greatly value the contributions the employees of these companies have made to our company," Kennedy added. "Local newspapers play a valuable role in the communities they serve, and we are confident that the publications we are selling and those we continue to operate will continue to provide timely, valuable and trustworthy news and information to their readers."

Kennedy continued, "Since becoming a Cox company in 1991, Valpak has become an industry leader and a brand that consumers around the country know and trust. Its new state-of-the-art production facility will allow Valpak to offer advertisers even more effective and targeted tools to reach their customers."

In addition to Valpak and the Austin American-Statesman (TX) and its related community publications, Cox intends to sell the following groups of stand-alone newspapers:

-- North Carolina: The Daily Reflector (Greenville) and a number of surrounding community publications; the Rocky Mount Telegram, The Daily Advance (Elizabeth City) and Savings Source Direct, a direct mail media business.
-- Texas: the Waco Tribune-Herald; the Longview News-Journal; The Marshall News Messenger; The Lufkin Daily News; and The Daily Sentinel (Nacogdoches).
-- Colorado: The Daily Sentinel (Grand Junction) and The Nickel.

Citigroup has been retained to assist Cox Enterprises with the marketing of the newspapers, and Goldman Sachs has been retained to assist with the marketing of Valpak. The company and its advisors are preparing information in connection with the sale of these assets and expect to be in a position to share information with prospective buyers in September.

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Cooper Wiring Devices to Announce New ASPIRE RF™ Products at the CEDIA ‘08 Expo September 3 – 7 at Booth 377

BUSINESS WIRE --Cooper Wiring Devices announced it will be showing exciting new additions to its ASPIRE RF wireless control system at the 2008 CEDIA Expo. New ASPIRE RF products being introduced include 2-wire dimmers, switches and accessories that are designed for enhanced retrofit capabilities. Another new product, the ASPIRE RF Ethernet Bridge, will be introduced at the show. The ASPIRE RF Ethernet Bridge allows secure ASPIRE RF system access via the internet, providing remote access from any location. Coopers exciting new Ethernet Bridge Controller allows homeowners and system designers to change and customize settings and scenes without having to physically be in the home. In addition, a new keyless garage door entry system will be introduced.

ASPIRE RF will be the focus of attention at Cooper Wiring Devices exhibitor booth (#377), as the company looks to educate and train a wide variety of installers, integrators, and other industry professionals on the advantages the ASPIRE RF offers their customers and how it can help them to grow their businesses.

The ASPIRE RF wireless control system, powered by Z-Wave® technology, features a full line of switches, receptacles, dimmers, scene controls, remote controls, accessories and screwless wall plates. All products are interoperable, and are fully compatible with a wide range of products from other Z-Wave manufacturers. The entire system is controlled with the press of a single button on a remote control, and can be joined with other devices to create events or scenes that offer ambience, security, convenience and energy savings.

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Legendary Allen’s Reaches 1 Year Anniversary of Grand Re-opening

BUSINESS WIRE --What do Zell Miller, Lewis Grizzard, Michael Stipe, Mike Bobo, the B-52s, and countless others who have visited Athens, GA all have in common? After Allens Hamburgers closed its doors in 2004, Athens lost a 50 year tradition of cold beer, greasy burgers, and live music. Some say that Athens robust music scene got its start in the Normaltown district at Allens on Prince Ave.

Last summer, two University of Georgia alumni, along with the help of the last Allens owner and the blessing of the old Allens proprietor/owners family, re-opened Allens in a new location at 810 Hawthorne Ave. Allens is featured in the July issue of Georgia Trend Magazine: http://www.georgiatrend.com/features-business-industry/07_08_allens. shtml (Due to its length, this URL may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser's address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.) and had a successful first year since the grand re-opening in terms of business and philanthropy helping support the following non-profit organizations with gifts totaling over $15,000:

  • Athens YMCA
  • Athens Habitat for Humanity
  • Athens Regional Hospital Foundation
  • Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta
  • Athens Clarke County Leisure Services (July 4 fireworks show at Bishop Park)

The re-opening of Allens is proving that a successful local business can compete effectively against national organizations and still give something back to the community, says co-owner Mark Hammond.

Co-owner Hilt Moree adds that: We have been humbled and overwhelmed by Athens support of the new Allens and have big plans for the coming year for local non-profit organizations.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Flowers Foods Completes Merger With Holsum Bakery of Phoenix

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO) today announced the completion of its merger with Holsum Bakery, Inc. Holsum will operate as a subsidiary of Flowers under its current name and with its existing management team.

Established in 1881, Holsum Bakery operates profitably on annualized sales of approximately $146 million from its two bakeries in the Phoenix area. The company sells its Holsum, Aunt Hattie's, and Roman Meal fresh breads and rolls through independent distributors that serve retail and foodservice customers in Arizona, New Mexico, southern Nevada and Southern California.

Headquartered in Thomasville, Ga., Flowers Foods, with annual sales of over $2.02 billion, is one of the nation's leading producers and marketers of packaged bakery foods for retail and foodservice customers. With the Holsum acquisition completed, Flowers now operates 39 bakeries that produce a wide range of bakery products marketed throughout the Southeastern, Southwestern, and mid-Atlantic states via an extensive direct-store-delivery network and nationwide through other delivery systems. Among the company's top brands are Nature's Own, Whitewheat, Cobblestone Mill, Sunbeam, Holsum, Aunt Hattie's, Blue Bird, and Mrs. Freshley's. For more information, visit www.flowersfoods.com .

Statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those projected. Other factors that may cause actual results to differ from the forward-looking statements contained in this release and that may affect the company's prospects in general include, but are not limited to, (a) competitive conditions in the baked foods industry, including promotional and price competition, (b) changes in consumer demand for our products, (c) the success of productivity improvements and new product introductions, (d) a significant reduction in business with any of our major customers including a reduction from adverse developments in any of our customer's business, (e) fluctuations in commodity pricing and (f) our ability to achieve cash flow from capital expenditures and acquisitions and the availability of new acquisitions that build shareholder value. In addition, our results may also be affected by general factors such as economic and business conditions (including the baked foods markets), interest and inflation rates and such other factors as are described in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

LVS Homes Expanding Business Into the Solar Photovoltaic Marketplace with Full Service for Residential and Commercial Capability

As a residential homebuilder for many years, LVS Homes Inc. has installed numerous solar systems in its spec homes, but now it is branching out to use that same expertise for customers who are interested in having a solar electric or hot water system specifically designed and installed for their needs. LVS Homes Inc. offers residential installs and commercial applications as well.

The environmental interests of LVS owner Larry Stouffer have led to his earth friendly construction techniques being employed in his homes for the last 10 years.

Coupled with Earthcraft�certification standards and solar experience, LVS Homes can deliver for its customers state of the art eco-friendly homes with solar features, which may include solar panels for hot water or electricity. Being a Georgia licensed General Contractor means that LVS Homes is fully insured and while working directly with E Systems Inc., Electrical Contractors, his customers are assured that only qualified personnel are involved in every installation. Specific product and engineering is provided by SolarMarkt USA.

LVS Homes, based in Dahlonega, feels that the company is positioning itself well for the ongoing changes related to energy usage and production. Current incentives (both state and federal) can offer some cost relief for residential homeowners, builders and commercial entities. With these new programs being recently implemented and LVS having been involved with solar installations for some time, there is a good match of history and experience.

For more information, contact Larry Stouffer of LVS Homes Inc.at 706-864-0790 (office) 404-391-6764 (cellphone) or visit http://www.lvshomes.com/.
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Chick-fil-A Suits Up With ESPN's College GameDay for 2008 Season

PRNewswire/ -- Chick-fil-A is further increasing its association with college football in 2008 by becoming the newest integrated sponsor of ESPN's top-rated College GameDay Built by the Home Depot.

The key component of its involvement with the show is entitled "Mascot Movers" and will focus on the climactic moment at the conclusion of each College GameDay telecast when analyst Lee Corso predicts the winning team by donning the mascot head of his favored university. ESPN event staff in special College GameDay and Chick-fil-A co-branded uniforms will escort the crate carrying the mascot head to the set prior to Corso's announcement.

The agreement includes Chick-fil-A television commercials in each show plus a live camera shot of a Chick-fil-A "fan interaction area" on each campus at the College GameDay set just before the predictions are made by host Chris Fowler and analysts Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard.

College football fans will also have the opportunity to log on to ESPN.com (search: Chick-fil-A) and access a custom "Mascot Movers" website where they can make their weekly predictions on what Mascot is in the box and enter their picks on key College GameDay match-ups to be played during the weekend. Each week, ESPN and Chick-fil-A will award one lucky winner a VIP trip to the 2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl on December 31st in Atlanta and free Chick-fil-A food for a year.

College GameDay's inaugural show for 2008 will be televised from Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta on Saturday, August 30 for the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff Game between Alabama and Clemson.

As Chick-fil-A continues to strengthen its brand presence nationally, the restaurant chain anticipates the association with College GameDay will be a strong complement to the chain's college-level sponsorship portfolio.

"This new relationship with ESPN provides us with an on-going presence throughout the entire college football season," said Steve Robinson, senior vice president of marketing for Chick-fil-A. "We will begin the season with the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff featuring a tremendous match-up, and we will finish with the Chick-fil-A Bowl, on ESPN. We anticipate unique opportunities throughout the season to interact and share Chick-fil-A with college football fans throughout the country as College GameDay shows up at some of the biggest and most exciting games to be played this year."

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

UGA Turfgrass Field Day set for Aug. 20 in Griffin

If caring for turfgrass is your job, there is an event planned just for you Aug. 20 at the University of Georgia campus in Griffin, Ga.

Rain or shine, registration starts at 8 a.m. for the UGA Turfgrass Field Day, a day filled with everything you ever wanted to know about turfgrass and much more.

UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences scientists will share the latest research-based information on turfgrass varieties grown in Georgia and how to control diseases, insects and weeds.

Newly released UGA Bermuda grass, seashore paspalum and tall fescue varieties will also be discussed and seen. The latest industry equipment will be demonstrated, too.

For Hispanic workers, the morning session from 9 a.m. until noon will be offered in Spanish.
The field day is certified for Georgia Pesticide License Credit hours. Certified Crop Advisor credit will also be available as will credit in pesticide management and crop production.

The fee is $65 and covers the day’s program and lunch. To register, call (770) 229-3477 or go to the Web site www.georgiaturf.com.

The field day is sponsored by the UGA CAES, the Georgia Turfgrass Association, the Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association, the Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association and the Georgia Sod Producers Association.

UGA report: Food, Fiber Big Players in Georgia’s Economy

When the numbers are totaled, food and fiber production are the dominate drivers of Georgia’s economic engine, according to a report by the University of Georgia.

Released by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, the report showed that the food and fiber sector, which is everything from agriculture and forestry products to food services, accounts for 14 percent of the state’s employment and 13 percent of its economic output. In all, it employs 708,174 people and accounts for $92 billion in sales, said Archie Flanders, a CAED economist.

“Food and fiber compose the largest sector in the Georgia economy,” he said. “We have an abundance of food to eat and clothes to wear. These are such basic needs, and we don’t notice that in our economy.”

The food category considers jobs and money spent on everything from farm production to final consumption. For example, all the money spent on a Vidalia onion by the farmer who grew it to the consumer who crunches down on it an upscale restaurant, falls in this category.

The fiber category is slightly different. A harvested tree counts under this category. But a house, piece of furniture or paper office products don’t because they’re considered finished products.
“Fiber involves a product as it leaves the farm or forest and taking it to a certain point of the manufacturing process,” Flanders said.

Georgia food and drink manufacturers employ 72,582 and pull in $30.5 billion annually, more than any other manufacturing sector, according to the report.

Georgia food service providers employ 314,131 people. Those that make agriculture and forestry products employ 126,968 people. Food retailers and wholesalers employ 120,818 people.
Results of the report, which was last released 10 years ago, indicate the importance of UGA’s research and extension work in agriculture, forestry resources and consumer issues, Flanders said.

“Since food and fiber industries are such a large component of the Georgia economy, programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the College of Family and Consumer Sciences have great impacts on the state economy,” Flanders said.

UGA programs related to food and fiber include production, processing, food safety and nutrition.

For a copy of the report, “Economic Importance of Food and Fiber in the Georgia Economy,” visit www.caed.uga.edu/publications/2008/pdf/CR-08-07.pdf.

(Author Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

SBA Launches Electronic Disaster Loan Application

Disaster victims may now go online to file an application for recovery assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Acting Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today.

The electronic loan application can be accessed via the SBA’s secure Web site at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

Homeowners and renters who suffered damages to their homes and personal property following a declared disaster (by the President or the SBA Administrator) may apply for disaster loan assistance online. Businesses and non-profit organizations can go online to apply for assistance to cover losses to real estate and property, as well as economic injury.

“This online application provides a convenient alternative for disaster victims as they take their first steps toward rebuilding after a disaster,” said Acting Administrator Jovita Carranza.

The electronic loan application contains a feature that automatically checks errors, and prompts applicants when additional information is needed, guaranteeing a quicker loan-processing/decision time frame. On-screen help includes a glossary to explain terms that may be unfamiliar to the applicant.

Entering data to the electronic loan application is as secure as purchasing airline tickets online. When the user enters the Web site, a secure encrypted connection is established. Identity-proofing devices are also used in the application, which include the use of two pass codes by the applicant.

Paper disaster loan applications will still be mailed to disaster victims, and the package will include directions to the electronic loan application Web site. Questions about the electronic loan applications can be directed to SBA’s Disaster Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955, or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

For the latest news and information about SBA’s Disaster Assistance program, visit the Web site at http://www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance/index.html.

Flowers Foods Completes Acquisition of ButterKrust Bakery in Florida

PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Flowers Foods (NYSE: FLO) today announced that it has completed the acquisition of ButterKrust Bakery in Lakeland, Fla. In the transaction, Flowers purchased all of the issued and outstanding capital stock of the holding company of ButterKrust for cash.

ButterKrust Bakery operates profitably with annualized sales of approximately $70 million. ButterKrust has one bakery in Lakeland that employs 368 people and the company's fresh breads and rolls are available throughout Florida under the Country Hearth, Rich Harvest, and Sunbeam brands as well as store brands.

Headquartered in Thomasville, Ga., Flowers Foods, with annual sales of over $2.02 billion, is one of the nation's leading producers and marketers of packaged bakery foods for retail and foodservice customers. Flowers operates 36 bakeries that produce a wide range of bakery products marketed throughout the Southeastern, Southwestern, and mid-Atlantic states via an extensive direct-store-delivery network and nationwide through other delivery systems. Among the company's top brands are Nature's Own, Whitewheat, Cobblestone Mill, Sunbeam, Blue Bird, and Mrs. Freshley's. For more information, visit www.flowersfoods.com .

Statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those projected. Other factors that may cause actual results to differ from the forward-looking statements contained in this release and that may affect the company's prospects in general include, but are not limited to, (a) competitive conditions in the baked foods industry, including promotional and price competition, (b) changes in consumer demand for our products, (c) the success of productivity improvements and new product introductions, (d) a significant reduction in business with any of our major customers including a reduction from adverse developments in any of our customer's business, (e) fluctuations in commodity pricing and (f) our ability to achieve cash flow from capital expenditures and acquisitions and the availability of new acquisitions that build shareholder value. In addition, our results may also be affected by general factors such as economic and business conditions (including the baked foods markets), interest and inflation rates and such other factors as are described in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Award-Winning JVC Disc America Co. Changes Name to JVC America Inc., Announces 540,000-Square-Foot Expansion

BUSINESS WIRE --JVC Disc America Co., long known as a worldwide leader in optical media replication, has changed its name to JVC America Inc. to reflect its expansion into comprehensive services that include supply chain management; contract packaging; fulfillment; and reverse logistics. The company also is expanding its warehouse capacity by more than 540,000 square feet. JVC America Inc. is a privately held, wholly owned subsidiary of JVC Americas Corp.

The name change to JVC America Inc. is symbolic of Victor Company's commitment to the business and recognition that it has expanded well beyond optical media replication, which is an important piece of our business that continues to operate and consistently exceed customer expectations, says JVC America Inc. Chief Operations Officer Ron Vangrov. But our capabilities have evolved dramatically since we first started doing business in America 21 years ago. This name change reflects a turning point in our companys history as we deliver broader, more customizable services to a growing variety of customers.

Further diversifying its capabilities, JVC America Inc. recently acquired additional DVD molding lines, an offset printing system and new automated packaging lines for PlayStation® 3.

EXPANDING CAPACITY

JVC America Inc. will occupy the entire space at New Manchester Distribution Center, located two miles south of Interstate 20 on Camp Creek Parkway in Atlanta, for the creation and distribution of media products for a leading international publisher of interactive entertainment software products and creator of best-selling gaming products.

As a company, we are extremely committed to quality for our customers, and this is an example of our dedication to filling a customers specific need, Vangrov says. The name change and capacity expansion both mark a pivotal point for JVC America Inc. to continue building its legacy of expectation-exceeding customer service.

New Manchester Distribution Center is a freestanding distribution facility with easy access to both Interstate 20 and Interstate 285. Building features include an energy-efficient, T-8 lighting system, which helps to greatly reduce operating costs and energy expenditure. The lease agreement was made through ProLogis, the worlds largest owner, manager and developer of distribution facilities, with operations in 121 markets across North America, Europe and Asia.


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Monday, August 4, 2008

Verizon Wireless Continues to Expand and Enhance Georgia Voice and Data Network

PRNewswire/ -- Verizon Wireless, the company with the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, has completed a very aggressive quarter of network expansion and enhancement across Georgia. Year to date, Verizon Wireless added a total of 14 new cell towers, invested more than $105 million and executed the company's largest expansion in the companies history in Georgia with the launch of service in the Valdosta and Waycross areas.

The company continued to expand its Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) third generation (3G) wide-area network Revision A (Rev. A). With the enhanced network, Georgians have even more ubiquitous access to Verizon Wireless' two prime services: BroadbandAccess and V CAST. With BroadbandAccess, customers can download a one Megabyte e-mail attachment -- the equivalent of a small PowerPoint(R) presentation or a large PDF file -- in about eight seconds and upload the same-sized file in less than 13 seconds. The company's V CAST multimedia services offer customers the ability to download full song tracks, play cutting-edge 3D games and stream video clips straight to their phones.

In the second quarter of 2008, coverage was enhanced and expanded in the following Georgia cities:

  Americus, GA              Two new cell sites enhance calling capacity and
in building service for the city center of
Americus including the residential and
commercial areas along US 280, US 19 and the
Sumter County Hospital.

Atlanta Upgrades to the high speed wireless broadband
(EVDO Rev A) service increased network capacity
in East Atlanta, East Cobb, top end of I-285,
Marietta, Alpharetta, Buckhead, Roswell,
Chamblee and Toco Hills areas.

Brooks, GA High speed wireless broadband service (EV-DO Rev
A) is now available for the town of Brookes,
southern Fayette County and in the residential
and commercial areas along Hwy 16 between
Sharpsburg and Griffin.

Carrollton, GA Network capacity was enhanced for downtown
Carrollton.

Conyers, GA Data capacity was enhanced along I-20 from
Lithonia to Conyers, specifically the Turner
Hill Road exit in Lithonia (Stone Crest Mall) to
the Salem Road exit east of Conyers. In
addition, a new cell site enhanced calling
capacity and in-building service south of
Downtown Conyers along Highway 138.

Forsyth, GA Network enhancements provide greater calling
capacity for the residential and commercial
areas of the city of Forsyth and I-75.

Griffin, GA New cell site enhances calling capacity and in
building service-level in the city of Griffin
including the residential and commercial areas
along US 441, Griffin-Spaulding County airport
and the Spaulding Regional Hospital.

Macon, GA Network enhancements provide greater calling
capacity in the residential and commercial areas
of the city of Macon, the Macon Mall area, I-475
and I-75.

McDonough, GA New cell site provides high-speed wireless
broadband (EVDO Rev A) coverage on Hwy 23 and I
75 southwest of the city, as well as enhanced
coverage and capacity along I-75 between Locus
Grove and McDonough.

Metter, GA Network enhancements provide greater capacity in
the residential and commercial areas of the city
of Metter and I-16.

Milledgeville, GA New cell site enhances calling capacity and in
building service-level in the city of
Milledgeville including the residential and
commercial areas along US 19, Georgia College
and State University and the Baldwin County
Hospital as well as the North Milledgeville
area.

Newnan, GA New cell site and network enhancements provide
greater calling capacity east of Newnan in the
area of the Summer Grove subdivision near Hwy 34
and in the area of Frontage Road along I-85 and
Lower Fayetteville Road and I-85. In addition,
high-speed wireless broadband service (EVDO Rev
A) expansion was completed along Hwy 34 between
I-85 and Thomas Crossroads.

Norcross, GA New cell site provides enhanced coverage an in
building high-speed wireless broadband service
(EVDO Rev A) along Jimmy Carter Blvd and
Rockbridge Road area. An additional new cell
site provides coverage enhancements along the
Chattahoochee Recreational Area at Jones Bridge.

Northeast Georgia Expansion of high-speed wireless broadband
service (EVDO Rev A) now extends from Helen to
the west, Rabun Gap to the north, down through
Clayton, Tallulah Falls and Clarksville to the
south.

Sandersville, GA New cell site enhances calling capacity and in
building service-level in the eastern portions
of Sandersville and Tennile including the
residential and commercial areas along GA 15, 24
and 242.

Savannah, GA Two new cell sites enhance calling capacity and
in-building service-level in the city center of
Savannah and Pooler including the residential
and commercial areas along I-95, Pooler Parkway,
Godley Station, Daffin Park and the Savannah
International Airport.

Senoia, GA Network enhancements provide greater capacity
and in-building coverage of high-speed wireless
broadband service (EVDO Rev A) in the town of
Senoia, southeast Coweta County and in the
residential and commercial areas along Hwy 16
between Sharpsburg and Griffin.

Suwanee, GA Two new cell sites enhance coverage between I-85
and 316, along Hwy 317 (Lawrenceville Suwanee
Road), and at the intersection of McGinnis Ferry
and Old Atlanta Roads.

Wrightsville, GA New cell site enhances calling capacity and in
building service-level in the city of East
Dublin including the residential and commercial
areas along US 319, US 80, GA 29 and 86.


In addition, now residents, businesses and travelers along I-16 -- from Macon to Savannah, Savannah to Augusta, and Augusta to Macon, have seamless high speed Broadband Access data coverage all along their routes. In south Georgia, the company completed its largest single launch of the Verizon Wireless voice, National Access data, and Broadband Access data network in this state, from the eastern edge of Thomas County, northeast through Bacon County, southeast through Charlton and Camden Counties and everywhere in between.

"Wireless customers throughout Georgia continue to demand the best -- and Verizon Wireless is committed to continue doing everything we can to deliver it. We'll continue to focus on meeting our customers' growing wireless needs by delivering on our brand promise -- the best, most reliable wireless network," said Jeff Mango, President Verizon Wireless Georgia/Alabama Region. "The developments and investments we undertook in the second quarter of 2008 are in direct response to the remarkable growth in the demand for our wireless service."

The company's continued investment in Georgia is part of Verizon Wireless' ongoing effort to expand coverage, improve capacity and enhance the quality of its wireless voice and data network throughout the country. Verizon Wireless has invested more than $40 billion -- $5 billion on average every year -- since the company was formed to increase the coverage and capacity of its national network and to add new services. Other examples of company leadership include being first to offer nationwide plans with unlimited calling and the only provider to offer a 30-day network Test Drive pledge that pays for calls if a customer isn't satisfied and switches to another carrier.