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April 18, 2014

Ukraine, Russia reach tentative de-escalation agreement

Filed under: investors, small business — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 4:19 pm

OTTAWA—An agreement to ease tensions along Ukraine’s eastern border is raising hopes that a diplomatic solution to the ongoing crisis can be found, even as clashes in the country’s eastern regions claimed lives.

But even as diplomats worked to avoid further violence in the country, Canada and NATO allies continued to prepare for the possibility of a deepening crisis in the region.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Thursday that Canada will send six CF-18 fighter jets to Poland as part of a NATO air-policing mission. Another 20 military staff will be sent to bolster Canada’s contingent at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Harper said the move was a direct response to Russian expansionism in Ukraine.

“This is in response to the situation that is developing there and, frankly, more generally to the concern that we have on what really is expansionism and militarism on the part of Russia,” Harper said Thursday.

“I believe this to be a long-term, serious threat to global peace and security and we’re always prepared to work with our allies in NATO and elsewhere.”

Harper said in a statement that Canada remains steadfastly behind Ukraine and will not “stand idly by” while the country’s sovereignty is challenged court records.

Canada’s commitment — which was requested by NATO — came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that four-way talks between the U.S., the European Union, Russia and the Ukraine had resulted in a tentative agreement on initial steps to de-escalate tensions.

The agreement calls on the two sides to halt violence, intimidation and provocative actions, according to reports. It also puts further Western economic sanctions against Russia on pause for the time being.

Under the Geneva statement, protesters would be given amnesty if they comply with the demands, including the immediate disarmament of all illegally armed groups, and the return of all seized buildings to their rightful owners. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will oversee the process.

Kerry called the deal “a good day’s work,” but said both sides need to translate the words into immediate action.

“None of us leaves here with a sense that the job is done because of words on a paper,” Kerry told reporters in Geneva.

Kerry added that if Moscow does not respect the commitment to de-escalate tensions, “we will have no choice but to impose further costs on Russia.”

The agreement comes after a night of bloodshed in the southeastern city of Mariupol, just 60 km from the Russian border, according to Ukrainian authorities. Ukrainian police killed three pro-Russian fighters and wounded 13 others Thursday in an overnight attack on a national guard base. Special forces were deployed, according to Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, and 63 people were detained and weapons seized.

Earlier this week, Ukraine sent troops into its eastern Donetsk region, where Kyiv said “armed extremists” operating under Russian direction had occupied government buildings. The masked militias operating in the region are reported to have sophisticated weaponry, stoking fears they’re backed by Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called those fears “nonsense” on Thursday, but acknowledged for the first time that the masked troops involved in the annexation of Crimea were Russian soldiers police reports public record.

In Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama told reporters that it will take “several days” to know whether Russia and Ukraine will follow through on the Geneva agreement.

“The question now becomes will . . . (Russia) use the influence that they’ve exerted in a disrupted way to restore some order so that Ukrainians can carry out an election, move forward with the decentralization reforms that they’ve proposed, stabilize their economy, and start getting back on the path of growth and democracy,” Obama said.

“We’re not going to know whether or not there’s follow through on these statements for several days.”

Earlier Thursday, Obama spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and planned to speak with British Prime Minister David Cameron. The West will follow through with more economic sanctions, Obama said, unless they see progress on the ground in Ukraine.

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Chow, Tory target curb parking scofflaws in gridlock-fighting plans

Filed under: loans, technology — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 11:40 am

Two prominent mayoral candidates took aim Thursday at lane hogs and intersection blockers in describing how they would fight gridlock in Toronto.

John Tory told reporters the city needs to adopt zero tolerance for delivery trucks and errand runners blocking curb lanes of busy streets in rush hour.

In a separate news conference at Donlands Ave. and O’Connor Dr., Olivia Chow called for a crackdown on motorists blocking intersections. She said she saw a van block an intersection Wednesday for an entire light as gridlocked motorists fumed.

Tory said stricter enforcement, including more aggressive towing, is needed to discourage courier companies and people doing errands from parking illegally in the curb lane.

Tory, a former Rogers Cable chief executive, said that goes for cable trucks as well. He characterized lane blocking as a form of anti-social behaviour.

“Those are people who’ve decided that getting a coffee, fixing somebody’s cable or delivering a courier package are more important than the lives and time of hundreds of people,” he said.

“I think it’s time we said no to that. I think if you start towing people away, they’ll pretty quickly stop parking there.

“But the bottom line is we can’t just go on saying, ‘Oh well, it’s okay for people to park in rush hour on busy streets.’ It’s not okay. It’s strangling the city.”

Related:

Gridlock: The $6 billion (at least) problem

More Election 2014 coverage on Thestar.com

Both Chow and Tory would also try to discourage condo developers from occupying the curb lane, in some cases for years, while the building is going up. Tory specifically mentioned hoarding on projects on Adelaide and Charles Sts. downtown that has bedeviled motorists for a long time.

Chow said contractors should be fined for blocking lanes when no work is going on, and should pay increasing fees the longer a lane is cordoned off.

“If a company is not performing well, blocking the lane for construction and dragging their feet, then they should pay more,” she said. “We should reward good performance.”

The current city council is considering ways to reduce construction-related lane blocking, said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the public works and infrastructure committee.

“If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I am very flattered,” Minnan-Wong said. “We’re looking at the lane closures for development applications, substantially increasing the fees and limiting the time.”

Tory’s anti-gridlock plan also includes keeping the eastern end of the Gardiner Expressway from Jarvis to the Don Valley Parkway, improving transit bus movement and considering whether the private sector might operate water taxis unsecured personal loans.

Chicago has water taxis on the Chicago River, and such watercraft might work in Toronto, for example by bringing residents downtown from the Palace Pier area of Etobicoke’s waterfront, which is poorly served by transit, he said.

“I think we have to think a little bit outside the box. If you think it (water taxi) is of interest, come forward with your ideas and we’ll take a look at it,” he said.

Chow said Tory is out of touch in bringing up water taxis; she doesn’t believe such a service would be viable. She suggested her proposal to increase bus service in rush hour would deliver better results.

Tory, meanwhile, said he’s open to hearing anyone’s ideas on how to reduce traffic congestion.

“I think the worst enemy of the public in Toronto right now is inaction on this and not being willing to open our minds to new ideas that can move people.”

Tory unveiled his plans at a news conference at the home of Marsha Seca, in the Bayview and Eglinton area. Seca spoke about her frustrations trying to commute to her job in Vaughan.

Chow’s gridlock plan

Crack down on drivers who block curb lanes during rush hour and those who block intersections, preventing traffic from moving. Charge builders more, the longer they close a curb lane to construct a building. Fine contractors hired by the city who close lanes when no work is underway. Fine utility companies that dig holes in the road but don’t repair them properly. Use fine revenue to fill potholes. Co-ordinate traffic lights better. Give people better notice of upcoming road closures. Hire a traffic liaison person for the mayor’s office.

Tory’s gridlock plan

Tow vehicles, including delivery and service trucks, that block curb lanes of busy streets in rush hour. Review fees that builders pay the city for permission to close curb lanes to ease construction. Co-ordinate traffic lights better. Add road space for buses to drop off and pick up, out of the flow of traffic. Add express buses on some routes, such as Dufferin St. and Don Mills Rd. Explore private-sector interest in operating water taxis on Lake Ontario. Retain the east end of the Gardiner Expressway from Jarvis St. to the Don Valley Parkway. Explore changing the alignment to free up more waterfront land for development.

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April 16, 2014

Brampton school stabbing sent one to hospital over alleged $10 feud

Filed under: loans, news — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 9:00 pm

A fake $10 bill and a two-week feud set off a fight inside a Brampton high school that sent one teen to the hospital with stab wounds and put three others in police custody.

Several students outside St. Roch Catholic Secondary School on Tuesday afternoon who witnessed the lunch-hour fight and knew those involved said the beef started after one student paid an older boy with a counterfeit $10 bill.

Peel police said one 17-year-old boy was sent to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Two other boys, aged 16 and 17, were arrested at the school. A third male student who left the scene was being sought by police and later arrested, police tweeted at 6:30 p.m.

What the money was for, no one seemed to know, but those present say the student who handed over the fake money was the one who allegedly did the stabbing.

“They decided to deal with it today, I guess,” said a Grade 10 student who was in a second-floor hallway when the fight broke out on the main floor. “I’m shaken up . . . I was worried about it was going to happen soon.”

The feud started two weeks ago with the exchange of money, friends said. In the hallway, things escalated.

“It was kind of a dirty look that he gave the guy. He turned around and then he asked him what’s going on and why he’s looking at him like that,” said the Grade 10 student, standing next to his mother in front of the school. “They were going to go outside; they just fought inside instead.”

He said a 16-year-old, also in Grade 10, pulled out a knife. The boy who was injured, in Grade 12, never fell to the ground and had to be held back by others as the fight continued.

“They were throwing fists at each other,” said one Grade 9 student who did not want to give her name. “And then all of a sudden, he was bleeding a lot from his neck.”

Teachers were quick to break up the fight, students said, and the injured boy was taken to the office before the ambulance arrived to take him to Brampton Civic Hospital.

The school was put in lockdown just as the first lunch break — reserved for Grade 10 students — was ending and a new one beginning. Students from all grades were pulled into the closest classrooms. Tactical teams went from room to room looking for the missing suspect, police said.

Students tweeted from the hours-long lockdown, commenting on the heavily armed officers “packin heat.”

Several neighbouring schools were also put in a state of hold-and-secure.

With files from Jodee Brown

Stabbing in a Brampton high school started after a two-week-old fight over a fake $10 bill, students here say. $10 is a big deal to them.

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April 15, 2014

Stocks open higher after a rough week; Citi gains

Filed under: Uncategorized, mortgage — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 6:04 am

NEW YORK • Stocks are opening higher as investors are encouraged by a pickup in retail sales last month.

Citigroup rose 4 percent after reporting first-quarter earnings that were better than analysts were expecting.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 12 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,827 in the first few minutes of trading Monday.

The index lost 2.7 percent last week, its worst weekly showing since January.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 86 points, or 0.5 percent, to 16,112. The Nasdaq composite rose 31 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,030.

The Commerce Department reported that retail sales rose 1.1 percent in March, the best showing since September 2012.

Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.63 percent.

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April 13, 2014

Matthew Weiner talks seven seasons of Mad Men

Filed under: mortgage, small business — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 2:44 pm

Jon Hamm’s Don Draper has never been an easy man to like, much less love, and Mad Men’s previous season saw him burning nearly every bridge in his life, with his partners, his wife, even his daughter. But with just 14 episodes left to find Don’s (un)happy ending, notoriously evasive creator/showrunner Matthew Weiner sat down with us in his spacious, well-appointed Los Angeles office to discuss the future of Sterling Cooper & Partners, the pressure of writing the finale — and the possibility of a spinoff.

Q: What can you reveal about the new season?

A: We know that Don had that catastrophic confession at work and then hopefully had a more healing confession to his family; that Peggy and Ted have split; that Pete and Ted are going to Los Angeles; (Sterling Cooper & Partners) are going to hire someone to replace Don; and Don has been put on leave, whatever that means. And that’s where the story picks up.

I think it’s always hard for (viewers) that I just (continue) the story whenever I want to. The second season, everyone was like, “Peggy had a baby. When are we going to find out about that?” Well, you did, eventually. It did become a big part of the story. But I can say that all of the repercussions of last season, that’s what this season is about. What are the things that you do that you can’t undo? Don was caught by his daughter in an affair. That affair was then ended by Sylvia and Don couldn’t take it. In fact, I don’t think Don even cared about that affair until Sylvia ended it. But Megan doesn’t know about it. She just knows that their marriage has gone bad. Was the affair the symptom or was it the disease? Don says he’s going to try to stop drinking: is that a commitment? That’s setting the stage for the season.

Q: Do you think Don can be sober?

A: I don’t think Don needs to be sober, actually. I think he has to approach his life in less of a haze. I always felt he drank to avoid feelings and last year (his drinking) intensified them instead of numbing them. Last season was really a step in his life that was created by the panic of his personal life. Sally walking in on him (and Sylvia), and his destroying the relationship with the person who looked up to him unequivocally: that was a turning point.

Q: Did the fact that this final season is split into two affect your storytelling?

A: It did — a lot. Having a gap in the middle of a season is tough. I’m sure someone will still complain that nothing happens, but there is a lot of story in the show, probably the most we’ve had. I wouldn’t say that it’s all racing around. We can’t turn this into 24. But this season is very dense.

Q: The year in which a new Mad Men season takes place is always such a big secret.

A: I made it a big secret because I use that as an energy to start the story. The audience is going to have to be filled in on what transpired while we were gone. We can start the characters in the middle of something instead of picking up the next day free business cards. But the interesting thing to me is that sometimes the show is very focused on American history and sometimes it isn’t. We left off with the United States in a mess. And I feel Don talking to his kids was a moment to turn a little bit away from the world.

Q: Some have theorized that the show is about Peggy becoming Don. Is there any validity to that?

A: Yes. I like that when we left her, she never wanted to be less like Don. The worst parts of Don were exposed and directed at her. His jealousy and self-destruction were in her path, and I don’t know that she wants to be like him anymore. Peggy has her own thing to do that is so complicated and unprecedented, and she has no role models.

Q: What will this season bring for Joan?

A: Joan is a know-it-all, but she seems to be right. (Laughs.) I’ve enjoyed watching that character who’s so sure of her values and her goals. She’s living in a very different world from what she anticipated, or from what she seemed to have wanted. And I see her adapting to it. She’s almost shocked by it. The real question for Joan is, is a man going to make a difference in her life? She’s the most modern person on this show. Add 30 years to Joan and you will see someone who is a very special kind of pioneer.

Q: Were you surprised when James Wolk’s Bob Benson became a breakout character?

A: I was shocked. And thrilled. You never expect that people would even notice Bob. He was like a joke in our office. Like, “Oh, my God, there’s that guy Bob Benson again and he’s Pete’s prot

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April 11, 2014

Will Mad Men find its mojo in Season 7?

Filed under: finance, term — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 11:28 pm

Spoiler alert: There are Season 6 spoilers ahead.

Don Draper has gone from intriguing to mysterious to unpleasant to repulsive.

It’s weird. Mad Men, which returns on Sunday to begin its seventh and final season (AMC, 10 p.m.) was once as easy to admire as The Sopranos.

It had atmosphere. It was poetic. It resonated. The characters had depth. Set in the turbulent ’60s, at a Madison Avenue advertising agency called Sterling Cooper, the writing, acting, direction, sets and costumes were dazzling.

The end of Mad Men and the era of ads: Salutin

Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks ‘crazy’ about final season

Then Season 6 came along.

And as it unfolded, something became clear: Mad Men has lost its mojo.

Maybe it was last year’s season premiere, which ended with the reveal that Don (Jon Hamm) was having yet another affair, this time with the wife of a neighbour. Maybe it was the bizarre subplot involving Pete’s (Vincent Kartheiser) elderly mother, who — what the? — is murdered off-camera on a cruise ship by her male caregiver? Or maybe it was just the gloom that pervades this dystopian universe, a mood so relentlessly depressing it makes Leaving Las Vegas seem like The Goonies.

By the midway point of Season 6, I found myself chain-smoking, pounding back Old Fashioned cocktails and praying for a time machine so I could go back to 2007. Once there, I’d break into the show’s production offices and, at gunpoint, force creator Matthew Weiner to write, “THEN HE SMILES” into at least a few scripts. Then I’d demand he promise to never repeat a plot point or I’d return from the future, strap him into a Barcalounger and compel him to watch John from Cincinnati for 40 days and 40 nights.

Did you notice how many scenes and plot points last season mirrored past seasons?

Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) has feelings for Don, her boss, in Season 1. Peggy has feelings for Ted (Kevin Rahm), her boss, in Season 6. Don takes a trip to Los Angeles and hangs out with oddball strangers in Season 2. Don takes a trip to Los Angeles and hangs out with oddball strangers in Season 6.

Sally (Kiernan Shipka) walks through a door and sees Roger (John Slattery) and Marie (Julia Ormond) engaged in a sexual act in Season 5 quick guaranteed personal loans. Sally walks through a door and sees Don and Sylvia (Linda Cardellini) engaged in a sexual act in Season 6.

Don’s brother commits suicide. Lane Pryce (Jared Harris) hangs himself. The agency is nearly bought by another firm. The agency merges with another firm. Peggy has a baby after fooling around with Pete. Joan (Christina Hendricks) has a baby after fooling around with Roger.

Everyone rides the elevators in silence.

Everyone stares out a window for no apparent reason.

Then there were moments that were really baffling.

What was that business with that little girl and her violin? How did Betty suddenly get skinny again? One second she was in prosthetics and a black wig, looking like an extra in Shallow Hal, the next she was blond and rail-thin. Did I miss something while downing more cocktails and burning my collection of pocket squares?

Also, Don’s life story as told in flashback? Are we done with the whole Dick Whitman slash assumed identity slash Korean War slash marriage-of-convenience to now-dead Anna stuff?

Is it all about the childhood brothel now?

From reading Dante on the beach in Hawaii to cheating on poor Megan (Jessica Par

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April 10, 2014

Toyota recalls 1.8 million vehicles in the U.S.

Filed under: technology, term — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 9:04 am

Updated at 12:08 p.m.

TOKYO • Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling nearly 1.8 million vehicles in the U.S. for various safety problems, including air bags that may fail to deploy.

The Japanese automaker announced the U.S. recall Wednesday as part of a broader recall of 6.39 million vehicles — and 27 Toyota models — globally.

In the U.S., the recall includes:

• 1.3 million vehicles with faulty electrical connections that could cause the air bags to deactivate. Included are the 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2008-2010 Highlander, 2009-2010 Tacoma, 2006-2008 RAV4, 2006-2010 Yaris and 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe. If the air bags deactivate, they could fail to deploy after a crash.

• 472,500 small cars with defective springs in the front seat rails, which could prevent the seats from locking in place. Included are the 2006-2010 Yaris hatchback, 2007-2010 Yaris sedan and the 2008-2010 Scion XD.

Toyota said it is currently working on remedies for the problems. Dealers will replace the defective parts for free when replacement parts are available.

The Pontiac Vibe, which is made by General Motors Co., is included in the recall because Toyota designed and engineered it for GM when the two companies shared a factory in California. GM says 40,500 Vibes will be recalled, and says GM dealers will make repairs when Toyota sends them the parts.

The air bag issue is unrelated to a separate GM recall of 2 electronic check payday advance.6 million vehicles for an ignition switch defect that can also deactivate the air bags. The Vibe isn’t included in that recall.

Toyota said no injuries or crashes have been reported related to the recalls.

By region, the recall affects 2.3 million vehicles in North America, 1.09 million vehicles in Japan and 810,000 vehicles in Europe. Other regions affected by the recall include Africa, South America and the Middle East.

The recall is one of Toyota’s largest since 2009 and 2010, when the company issued a series of recalls totaling more than 10 million vehicles for various problems including faulty brakes, sticky gas pedals and ill-fitting floor mats.

Toyota is under pressure to announce recalls quickly after a U.S. government investigation found it hid information about past defects. Last month, the company agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle that investigation. It also paid fines totaling $66 million to the U.S. government for delays in reporting unintended acceleration problems.

The company says it has “made fundamental changes to become a more responsive and customer-focused organization, and we are committed to continued improvements.”

AP Auto Writer Dee-Ann Durbin contributed from Detroit. 

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April 8, 2014

Railroads stress safety after deaths up in 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized, economics — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 6:08 pm

OMAHA, Neb. • Railroads are launching a new campaign to highlight the dangers of being near train tracks after a spike in rail deaths last year.

At this time last year, the railroads were proudly calling 2012 their safest year ever as derailments and crossing accidents kept declining. But last year, the number of trespassing deaths rose by 47, or 11 percent, to 476, and the number of deaths in accidents increased nearly 8 percent to 250.

Although the rates vary from year to year and there are only theories to explain last year’s increase, it prompted federal regulators to develop a public campaign aimed at reducing accidents. Ads being released Tuesday are focusing on how people and vehicles stand no chance against a train.

“We need to make sure people understand the danger they’re putting themselves in on the rails,” said Joyce Rose, CEO of Operation Lifesaver, a nonprofit dedicated to educating people about railroad hazards.

It’s difficult to determine what was behind the death increase in 2013, but Rose believes it may be related to smartphones and other electronic devices.

“We’re a distracted population,” Rose said.

The main television commercial for the new campaign, dubbed “See Tracks? Think Train,” shows a young man walking on railroad tracks while wearing headphones and not realizing a train is coming.

Mark Kalina, who lost parts of both legs in a train accident, supports the message.

The 24-year-old said he knew he made a bad decision when he tried to walk around a stopped train to get to his apartment in Columbus, Ohio, after he’d been out with friends in October 2012. The train started moving, and Kalina’s shirt got caught. But after climbing aboard the train to free his shirt, Kalina fell under the train.

Kalina, who hopes to return to Ohio State in the fall to compete his degree, wants others to learn from his mistake.

“It just takes one bad time to possibly end your life,” Kalina said.

The effort is also backed by the Association of American Railroads trade group, major railroads and the Federal Railroad Administration.

Despite the increase in deaths in 2013, regulators note that railroad safety has significantly improved over the past decade by most measures. Between 2004 and 2013, for example, the number of trespassing deaths went up about 3 percent.

The Federal Railroad Administration said the number of injuries and deaths from trespassing fluctuates from year to year based on factors such as construction near train tracks or increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Kansas City Southern railroad engineer Russ W. Fletcher said he hopes this campaign will help people make better decisions at railroad crossings and around train tracks. He noted that railroad employees involved in accidents, especially fatal ones, also are affected.

“The memories never go away,” said Fletcher, who lives in Joplin, Mo. “It’s horrific for everyone.”

The 58-year-old veteran railroad engineer said he has even had near misses with police officers who disobey train crossing signals.

“We have very intelligent people making a bad decision every day,” Fletcher said.

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April 7, 2014

Pope Francis gives faithful pocket-sized copies of the Gospels

Filed under: management, money — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 3:12 am

VATICAN CITY—Tens of thousands of faithful in St. Peter’s Square have been treated to gifts from Pope Francis: pocket-sized copies of the Gospels which he hopes they’ll keep handy and read daily.

The scriptures were handed out by volunteers after the Pope’s traditional Sunday appearance to pilgrims and tourists in the square payday loan companies.

The Pope did ask for something in return, telling them: “In exchange for this gift, perform an act of charity.” He said such an act might be praying for an enemy, for example.

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April 5, 2014

Fruit of the Loom to close U.S. plant, move jobs to Honduras

Filed under: Canada, online — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 12:04 pm

FRANKFORT, Ky. • More than 600 workers will lose their jobs under Fruit of the Loom’s plans to close its plant in Jamestown.

The company said it was moving the plant’s textile operations to Honduras to save money. The company plans to close the plant in phases from June 8 through Dec. 31.

“It is very unexpected for me and, from what I’m hearing, for everyone in the community,” said Sen. Sara Beth Gregory, whose district includes Jamestown. “I think everyone is reeling from the news.”

In a news release, the company said its decision was “to align its global supply chain to allow the company to leverage existing investments and meet customer requirements more timely and cost effectively.”

“This decision is in no way a reflection on the dedication and efforts of the employees in our Jamestown facility, but is a result of a competitive global business environment”, Tony Pelaski, the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in a news release.

A company news release said the plant has 601 workers.

The company said it will give the employees a 60-day notice before eliminating their jobs, and it has notified state and local officials “to provide any available assistance.” The plant will close in phases between June 8 and Dec. 31.

Russell County’s unemployment rate was 11.5 percent in February, up from 10.3 percent in January. Of the 8,103 people in the civilian labor force, 934 did not have a job, according to the latest numbers from the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training. Unemployment rates increased in 56 of the state’s 120 counties from February 2013 to February 2014. Unemployment rates fell in 55 counties, while rates in nine counties did not change.

Fruit of the Loom, a subsidiary of billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, is headquartered in Bowling Green.

“A lot of manufacturing jobs, particularly in apparel, have been lost from this region over the last decade or so,” Gregory said. “It’s a sad day for Russell County, and really for the whole region.”

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