Archive for the ‘National’ Category

Last 747 for Japanese airline to land in Tupelo on Thursday

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Biz Buzz speculated two weeks ago that the final Boeing 747 belonging to All Nippon Airways (ANA) could very well be headed to Tupelo and Universal Asset Management.

This is the retired ANA 747 that will be landing in Tupelo Thursday.

This is the retired ANA 747 that will be landing in Tupelo Thursday.

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New air service in Tupelo could be in place by August

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While Silver Airways has announced it is ending commercial air service in Tupelo (click here for previous coverage),  Silver Air planeofficials with the Tupelo Regional Airport think a replacement carrier could be in place as early as August.
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Written by Dennis Seid

April 14, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Visitors’ numbers increase on Natchez Trace Parkway

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Visitors to the Natchez Trace Parkway continue to increase this year over last year, keeping the parkway in the top 10 of the National Park Service’s sites in attendance. Natchez Trace Parkway
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Written by Dennis Seid

April 14, 2014 at 9:33 am

Coldwater Creek to liquidate all stores starting May 11

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Women’s retailer Coldwater Creek is liquidating, which means it will be closing all of its stores. Coldwater Creek

The company, which hasn’t posted a profit since 2007, said is will begin going-out-of-business sales at its nearly 400 stores by Mother’s Day, May 11.

Officials at The Mall at Barnes Crossing in Tupelo said they didn’t know when the Coldwater Creek location there – which opened in 2008 – would close.

Said Bloomberg:

The company listed assets of $278.5 million and debt of $361.3 million in Chapter 11 papers filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del..

The chain said revenue peaked at $1.1 billion in 2006. It expanded from 198 stores in 2005 to 336 locations in 2007 before the global economic downturn stunted its financial success and triggered a series of management changes, according to court filings. Sales at stores open at least a year plunged 17 percent in the quarter ended Nov. 2.

The company joins women’s clothing chains Dots LLC and Ashley Stewart Holdings Inc. in bankruptcy. Dots, with 400 stores, shut down after filing in January. Ashley Stewart, with 168 stores in 24 states, sought Chapter 11 protection on March 10. A drop in mall traffic also has helped to drive pizza seller Sbarro LLC, toasted-sandwich chain Quiznos and the owner of Hot Dog on a Stick to seek court protection since February.


Written by Dennis Seid

April 11, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Toyota recalling nearly 6.4 million vehicles, including Corollas

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Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 6.39 million vehicles, including the Corolla, which is built at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi facility in Blue Springs. The Japanese automaker is recalling the vehicles globally for a variety of models, which include 30 models in Japan, the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. Toyota logo 2

From the Associated Press:

No injuries or crashes have been reported related to the recalls announced Wednesday. But two reports of fires are linked to one of the problems, a defective engine starter that can keep the motor running.

Some vehicles were recalled for more than one problem. The recall cases total 6.76 million vehicles for 27 Toyota models, the Pontiac Vibe and the Subaru Trezia, produced from April 2004 through August 2013.

The Pontiac Vibe, which is a General Motors Co. model, is also involved because Toyota and GM made cars at the same plant in California and the recalled model is the same as the Toyota Matrix. It was recalled for a problem with a spiral cable attached to an air-bag. It is unrelated to a separate GM recall over ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths.

Subaru is partly owned by Toyota, and the model was the same as the Toyota Ractis.

For the recall, Toyota also reported problems with seat rails, the bracket holding the steering column in place, the windshield-wiper motor and a cable attached to the air-bag module.

The recalls affect a large range of models, including the Corolla, RAV4, Matrix, Yaris, Highlander, and Tacoma. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

April 9, 2014 at 11:06 am

Furniture Brands reaches pension settlement

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Furniture Brands Wind Down Inc., the remnant of bankrupt Furniture Brands International, has reached a deal with its creditors and the  federal Pension Benefit Guaranty CorpHeritage Home Group logo

The settlement, which still needs court approval, has the PBGC reducing its claim against the company from $340 million to  $300 million.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sept. 9. Most of its assets were purchased by KPS Capital Partners, which created Heritage Home Group to serve as the new parent company for Lane, Broyhill, Thomasville and other former FBI companies.

Lane, headquartered in Tupelo, employs several hundred at its Tupelo plant. It recently closed its Saltillo plant, laying off 480 people, and its Verona facility is up for auction.

In November, the PBGC said it would pay $270 million of FBI’s pension costs.

PBGC said it would pay up to the maximum of  $57,500 a year to retired Furniture Brands  employees. The company has about  19,000 current and future retirees. When it filed for Chapter 11, Furniture Brands said it owed $609 million in benefits obligations, but it was only funded about 55 percent, according to PBGC.

In addition, the creditors and PBGC have agreed on a liquidation plan, and if the proceeds are more than $20 million, minus fees and other expenses, then 20 percent of  the PBGC’s share will be made available to unsecured creditors.

A hearing will be held April 28 on the settlement.

Written by Dennis Seid

April 7, 2014 at 10:47 am

Update: Southern Quality Meats in Pontotoc to close in June, 110 affected

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Southern Quality Meats in Pontotoc will be closed, officials announced today, with its operations merged into its sister 546Y_sqm_logo-1facility in Albertville, Ala., which is operated by Albertville Quality Foods.

SQM was established in 1962.

The move affects 110 employees, and the plant will close between June-3-17, officials said.

In a statement, SQM said:

This was an extremely difficult decision because of the impact it will have on our Mississippi employees and their families and the surrounding communities,” said Jerry Wilson, CEO.  “After careful consideration, we have determined that this action best supports our ongoing business strategies and enables us to provide the highest quality product to our customers.”   

State, county, and local officials, as well as SQM’s employees, customers and suppliers were informed earlier today of the planned plant closing.  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

April 4, 2014 at 3:50 pm