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Interview: Barry Walter, President, Drug and Laboratory Disposal

Updated: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 |
Interview: Barry Walter, President, Drug and Laboratory Disposal story image

PLAINWELL, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - HAZMAT teams are actively working to clean up hazardous chemicals at the Drug and Laboratory Disposal plant in Plainwell.

Last week Monday, the plant went up in flames twice, forcing the fire department to issue two evacuation orders.

Now, the company's President spoke to Newschannel 3 about how safe the plant is, and what needs to be done before it can be reopened.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's only one major government economic report scheduled for release today. The Commerce Department will report on wholesale trade inventories for August.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- A top official says the Environmental Protection Agency is pressing Volkswagen for fixes on its emissions-cheating diesel engines and hopes to see solutions as early as next week.

EPA Director of Transportation and Air Quality Christopher Grundler says he's told VW to present more than one fix. He says the EPA will look at the impact on car owners before approving anything.

In testimony before a House subcommittee Thursday, Grundler says he wishes the EPA would have caught VW sooner. He says the agency has changed testing procedures so they are unpredictable to automakers.

Earlier, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn denied that top corporate officials, either in Germany or the U.S., knew about the software on the company's diesel cars designed to cheat on emissions test.

Horn says there was no discussion or decision by the company's board to install the defeat devices software.

He says "a couple" of software developers in Germany were responsible for the cheat.


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas has filed suit against Volkswagen, charging that the automaker's emissions rigging violated state consumer protection laws and clean air standards.

Attorney General Ken Paxton said Thursday that his state would seek restitution for consumers, and an injunction and civil penalties to prohibit future violations.

Paxton, who himself has been indicted for securities fraud, said in a statement, "When companies willfully violate the public's trust, a penalty must be paid."

VW says it installed devices designed to defeat emissions testing on many Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars dating to model year 2009.

Paxton said Texans purchased around 32,000 affected vehicles. There are about 49 authorized VW dealerships statewide.

Last month, Harris County, which includes Houston, filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against VW, alleging the automaker contributed to air quality problems.


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A U.S. bankruptcy trustee says he hopes checks from a $338 million settlement fund for victims of an oil train derailment that killed 47 people in Canada can be mailed in a month or two.

A Canadian judge gave conditional approval Thursday to changes in the settlement plan under which Canadian Pacific dropped its objection, setting the stage for final approval Friday by a judge in U.S. bankruptcy court.

Trustee Robert Keach says the timeline would allow victims to receive compensation by year's end.

Much of downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, was destroyed when the runaway train with 72 oil tankers derailed on July 6, 2013, setting off powerful explosions. About $83 million is being set aside to settle wrongful death claims.


NEW YORK (AP) -- Sometimes "liking" something just isn't enough.

And sometimes typing out a thoughtful comment about how you feel about someone's Facebook post isn't an option.

To fill that gap, Facebook is introducing Reactions. Instead of the "dislike" button many Facebook users have been clamoring for, the Menlo Park, California-based social network is testing out buttons that represent the emotions of love, yay, ha ha, wow, angry and sad.

Chris Cox, Facebook's chief product officer, says in a post that the new buttons address the spirit of the request for a "dislike" button, but in a broader way.

Facebook is testing Reactions in Ireland and Spain starting Thursday, with the hope of eventually rolling them out globally soon.


UNDATED (AP) -- New York's move to raise fast-food minimum wages to $15 is spurring similar efforts around the country -- even as Gov. Andrew Cuomo's push to enact an across-the-board $15 wage faces opposition at home.

Fast-food workers in 18 states have modeled a campaign after New York's to create citizen "wage boards" to pressure elected officials to raise the wage in their state.

Michigan state Sen. Bert Johnson, a Detroit Democrat, says New York shows a $15 minimum is achievable.

Last month Cuomo's administration approved a gradual $15 minimum for fast-food workers. The Democratic governor supports a $15 minimum for all industries.

Business owners say that would be devastating and the Business Council of New York State estimates it would cost New York businesses $15.7 billion annually.


RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (AP) -- A plan to manufacture solar-powered drones at a suburban New York site that once made fighter jets for the U.S. military is sparking questions about whether the aircraft will be used to beam Internet service. So far, company officials are staying mum.

Daniel Preston, the CEO and chief technology officer of Luminati Aerospace LLC., appeared Thursday with other company officials at a meeting of town board members in Riverhead, seeking permission for Luminati to use one of two runways on property it recently purchased. The land was once used by defense contractor Northrop Grumman.

Preston said the company, which closed last month on a $3.4 million deal to acquire 16.3 acres of land from the operator of a now-closed skydiving facility, intends to develop the next generation of drones at the site.

This summer, Facebook announced it will begin test flights later this year for a solar-powered drone to deliver Internet connectivity to remote parts of the world.


NEW YORK (AP) -- Gap Inc. says the creative director for its Banana Republic brand is stepping down after 18 months in that role.

The move comes as the chain, which also operates Old Navy and Gap stores, reported a sharp decline for a key revenue measure in September for the upscale brand.

Gap said in a statement that Webb, who was hired to re-energize the brand and is known for her oversized jackets, will transition into a creative adviser role "affording her more time to focus on her own collection." It said that it will continue to be a minority investor in Web's label M Webb LLC. The move will be effective Oct. 16.

The San Francisco-based retailer also offered a disappointing outlook on profitability for the current quarter.

Shares fell $1.84, or 6.4 percent, to $27.11 during aftermarket trading after ending the day up 56 cents at $28.95. The stock is down 31 percent since the beginning of the year.