Roundup: Voluntary bread recall; U.S. Steel can randomly test workers; more
Voluntary bread recall caused by pieces of wire
Several brands and types of breads sold in grocery stores in Western Pennsylvania are being recalled because of concerns they may contain pieces of flexible wire from a faulty screen. The parent company of Bimbo Bakeries of Horsham initiated the voluntary recall, saying the screen was at a third-party flour mill. No current products for sale at stores fall under the recall, said BBU Inc. but consumers should check products in their homes and return loaves to stores where they were purchased for refunds. Shop ‘n Save spokesman Dan Ayer said local store owners haven't heard thus far about breads being returned. Giant Eagle spokesman Dick Roberts said no affected breads were in stores by the time the recall was issued. These breads sold in Pennsylvania with “best by” dates up to Feb. 20 fall under the recall: Aldi L'Oven Fresh Hearty 12 Grain, Arnold Healthfull and Brownberry Healthfull 45 Calories Per Slice Multigrain, Brownberry Dutch Country 100% Whole Grain, Brownbery Grains & More Double Protein, Brownberry Healthfull Nutty Grain, Stroehmann Dutch Country 100% Whole Grain, Earthgrains 12 Grain Natural Bread and Sara Lee 12 Grain Bread Hearty & Delicious.
Judge rules for U.S. Steel on random drug, alcohol testing
U.S. Steel Corp. can test new employees randomly for drugs and alcohol without violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the Downtown company in 2010, claiming that giving alcohol breath tests to new Clairton Works employees without evidence they had been drinking violated their rights. U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer ruled in favor of U.S. Steel. She said the heavy protective gear workers wear in the plant makes detecting alcohol use without a test practically impossible while the hazardous working conditions amplify the danger an impaired worker poses.
Sony unveils PlayStation 4, its 1st major game console since ‘06
Sony unveiled its next-generation gaming system, the PlayStation 4, at a New York event Wednesday evening. The development gives the struggling Japanese electronics company a head start over Microsoft and an Xbox 360 successor. The PlayStation 4 will be Sony Corp.'s first major game console since the PlayStation 3 went on sale in 2006. Microsoft Corp. is expected to unveil the next Xbox in June at the E3 video game expo in Los Angeles. Last fall, Nintendo started selling the Wii U, though it plays catch-up in some respects in bringing the ability to play high-definition games.
Single-family homebuilding up slightly; apartments plunge
Homebuilders began work at a slower pace in January than in December. But all of the drop occurred in the volatile area of apartment construction, which sank 24 percent. By contrast, the rate of single-family homebuilding rose 0.8 percent. Even with the overall decline, the pace of home construction in January was the third-highest since 2008 and was evidence of continued strengthening in residential real estate. And in an encouraging sign for the rest of the year, applications for building permits, a signal of future construction, topped December's rate. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that builders started work at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 890,000 homes last month. That was down 8.5 percent from December, when housing starts had hit an annual rate of 973,000, the most since June 2008.
Gov. calls for safety stand-down at W.Va. mines after 4th fatality
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is asking coal companies to halt production for an hour to review safety procedures following the state's fourth mining fatality in two weeks and the sixth since November. Tomblin signed an executive order urging mine operators to hold safety talks with employees over the next 24 hours, starting Wednesday afternoon. Inspectors and mine safety officials plan to visit about 500 mines. In April 2010, an explosion at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine killed 29 men and former Gov. Joe Manchin ordered a similar temporary stop in production. The request came after a worker was struck by a scoop Tuesday and died of his injuries. The death at Pocahontas Coal Co.'s Affinity mine near Sophia was its second this month. The mine faces several safety violations.
Bakery to sell its 1 millionth loaf of swirl bread to lucky purchaser
Three years after Scott Baker restarted his family's McKees Rocks bakery, his 5 Generation Bakers company is preparing to sell its 1 millionth loaf of Jenny Lee brand cinnamon swirl bread. Baker said he analyzed sales data, and figures the milestone will be reached around 11:05 a.m. Thursday at the Shop ‘n Save supermarket in Kennedy. The purchaser will get free bread for a year and a cash prize. Baker's company makes several varieties of the log-shaped bread to freeze and sell wholesale to supermarkets and specialty stores. A dozen employees make about 14,000 loaves every week, using recipes the Baker family created for the former company, Jenny Lee Bakery.
Boeing to propose 787 battery fix
A congressional official says Boeing will propose to federal regulators a plan to temporarily fix problems with the 787 Dreamliner's batteries that have kept the planes on the ground for more than a month. The official said Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner is expected to present the plan to Michael Huerta, head of the Federal Aviation Administration, in a meeting later this week. The 787 fleet has been grounded since Jan. 16 after a battery caught fire on a plane parked in Boston and a smoking battery led to an emergency landing by another plane in Japan.
Other business news
• Emerson Process Management of O'Hara completed an automation upgrade at Russia's Surgut-2 Power Plant, one of the largest coal power stations in Europe. Emerson, the main automation contractor on the project, said work at the 800-megawatt unit was done during a four-month shutdown. The plant's new digital automation system replaces vintage analog controls. No contract terms were disclosed.
• A new GetGo gas station and convenience store will open Thursday at 7675 McKnight Road, Ross. The 5,500-square-foot GetGo has 18 fuel pumps, including four that also dispense diesel, owner Giant Eagle Inc. of O'Hara said. A solar canopy roof that helps to offset the station's need for power is among environmentally friendly features.
— Staff and wire reports