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In brief for Profit Center on Dec. 10, 2010

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Judge may push for bankruptcy


An Indiana firm under federal investigation for passing bad checks for cattle purchases could find itself forced into bankruptcy proceedings if a judge grants a motion filed by some of those owed money.


The action against Eastern Livestock Co. LLC came Dec. 6 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Indiana. Two companies -- Southeast Livestock Exchange LLC, of Waynesville, N.C., and Moseley Cattle Auction LLC, of Blakely, Ga. -- and David L. Rings of Russell Springs, Ky., filed an involuntary bankruptcy motion, claiming they sold Eastern cattle worth $1.45 million and weren't paid.


The petition for involuntary bankruptcy is a mechanism to make sure all creditors receive equal treatment and none are favored, said John Ames, the Louisville, Ky., attorney representing the three.




Mill gears up for timber recovery


LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) -- A small boost in domestic housing starts and China's growing demand for lumber are giving Western producers encouragement for the new year.


"We're hopeful that we'll be able to run our mill in Longview full time in 2011," Doug Reed, vice president and general manager of Tacoma-based Simpson Lumber Co., told The Daily News of Longview.


The Western Wood Products Association reported Dec. 6 that lumber production in the West was up 7.9 percent through the first 10 months of the year compared to 2009.


Prices have risen to an average of $274 per thousand board-feet in November, about 15 percent higher than last year, reports Random Lengths, a Eugene, Ore.-based forest products trade publication.


Both prices and production have plummeted in the recession because of drastically lower construction.




Hormel employees get bonus


AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) -- The holidays just got a little merrier for some 19,500 employees of Hormel Foods Corp.


The Austin company dished out $4.9 million in bonuses this week to its workers. Each employee got a check for $250.


The Austin Daily Herald reports Hormel CEO Jeff Ettinger said the bonuses were given to employees for their hard work during the past couple years in helping the company achieve its strong performance in tough economic times. Hormel's fourth-quarter net income rose 17 percent.


Just last month Hormel distributed a record $16 million in profit-sharing to its employees.



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