Fire at Progress Plastic is ruled arson
BELLEVUE, OHIO A fire that has been called arson by the Ohio Fire Marshal's office damaged the warehouse portion of Progress Plastic Products Inc.'s Bellevue plant early Nov. 23.
The ruling was issued Nov. 24 following an investigation by the fire marshal's office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and local authorities. They said in a news release that the designation was reached following interviews with first responders, employees and witnesses. Citing an ongoing investigation, they did not release specific details of how and where the fire was started.
The fire call came in at 3:49 a.m., according to Bellevue Fire Chief S.D. Barr, and was confined to the warehouse area of the building due to the work of 60 firefighters and an internal sprinkler system.
There were no injuries reported, and Barr said damage to the building was minimal.
The company did not respond to a call for comment.
However, the Port Clinton, Ohio, News Herald reported the company had announced late last week that it was closing the Bellevue site and would move work to its facility in Tiffin. It employs 24 in Bellevue.
Berry cuts jobs in Ala., expands in N.Y.
EVANSVILLE, IND. Berry Plastics Corp. will lay off workers at a subsidiary in Alabama as it adds capacity at a plant near Syracuse, N.Y.
Empire State Development, New York's state economic development agency, said in a Nov. 20 news release that Landis Plastics Inc., which Berry owns, has received a $141,000 grant for acquisition of machinery and other improvements as part of a $13.3 million upgrade at the firm's Solvay, N.Y., facility. According to the release, the project aims to retain 145 jobs at the plant, which injection molds food containers.
Berry executives would not comment about the Landis project. Berry this month said it would close a rigid thin-wall packaging plant in Corry, Pa., as part of its acquisition of Erie Plastics Corp.
Adam Unfried, president of Berry's rigid open top division, said in a Nov. 24 e-mail that ``there is no connection'' between the closing of the Pennsylvania plant and the facility in Solvay.
Meanwhile, Diane Tungate, a spokeswoman for the Evansville-based packaging manufacturer, confirmed Nov. 24 that 71 jobs at the Covalence Adhesives specialty tapes plant in Albertville, Ala., will be cut by April 3.
According to a Nov. 23 report in The Birmingham News, the Albertville plant employs 210.
Nova temporarily shutting Pa. factory
MONACA, PA. Nova Chemicals Corp. in early December will begin a temporary shutdown of its Beaver Valley styrenics plant in Monaca.
The shutdown will affect 130 of the plant's 320 employees, a spokeswoman with Pittsburgh-based Nova said. The move is expected to last at least four weeks.
Nova operates 475 million pounds of annual production capacity in Monaca for expandable polystyrene, Arcel-brand styrenic interpolymer and Dylark-brand styrene maleic anhydride copolymer. Those resins are sold into building and construction, durable goods and automotive markets.
``Market conditions have been poor for the last year and recently have gotten dramatically worse,'' said Robert Snyder, performance styrenics vice president, in a Nov. 21 news release. ``We expect to restart the plant, but only when we see significantly stronger demand and improving margins.''
Nova's EPS production in Painesville, Ohio, is not affected by the Monaca shutdown, the spokeswoman said.
MPC laying off 94 at Prairie du Chien
WALWORTH, WIS. Custom injection molder Miniature Precision Components Inc. is laying off 94 workers at its Prairie du Chien, Wis., operation.
The Walworth-based firm notified the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development of the layoffs, saying they would be effective Jan. 20.
Company officials declined to provide more information about the job cuts or effects on other operations. Prairie du Chien is an injection molding facility.
MPC's injection molding sales last year were $172 million out of a sales total of $177 million, according to Plastics News' recent injection molding survey.