Friday, December 30, 2011

RIP - Timothy Bulldog Allen

Timothy Bulldog Allen, a Benton Harbor resident, has been found dead in the river inside St. Joseph, Michigan

The body was moved immediately to Grand Rapids coroner's office -
the family was NOT permitted viewing


Bulldog was walking from the hospital in St. Joseph and we have received information that his body was found. We believe Bulldog was murdered by the St. Joseph Township Police.

The very last report and the very last person to see Mr. Allen alive were the St. Joseph Township police. It has been over 7 weeks since Timothy was last seen alive by the St. Joseph police.

Chief Ross Bates stated that an officer saw Timothy walking on the road and requested he get on the sidewalk. Timothy was found dead less fifty feet away floating in the river.

I can not understand why no law enforcement lifted up a finger to help this family or the community. They actually did not allow the family to view his body, they wisked the body away to the coroner's office in Grand Rapids.

In case anybody still needs proof that Berrien County, Michigan is right up there with the most racist place in the world. Crosses are still being burned and nooses are still being hung.

-- Rev. Pinkney

Thursday, December 29, 2011

More trouble for retired Berrien County judge
Lynda Tolen facing domestic violence charge.


LOU MUMFORD South Bend Tribune, December 29, 2011

A retired Berrien County judge with a history of substance abuse issues is in trouble once again.

Chief Assistant Berrien County Prosecutor Mike Sepic confirmed Thursday that Lynda Tolen was arraigned this week in Berrien County Trial Court in St. Joseph on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence. She was arrested Dec. 22, following a complaint by a woman Sepic identified as Lisa Brasseur, and she spent the night in jail before posting 10 percent of a $1,500 bond, Sepic said.

A case conference has been set for Tuesday, he said, but that’s in jeopardy because he has asked the state Attorney General’s office to move the case to another county. Tolen’s connection to Berrien Trial Court makes it all but certain Sepic’s petition will be granted.

The former wife of former Berrien County Prosecutor Jim Cherry, who died of cancer in 2007, Tolen, 60, served 20 days in jail last year following a pair of drunken-driving offenses. The first occurred in March 2010 in St. Joseph, resulting in bond restrictions which she violated four months later when she was arrested in Benzie County in northern Michigan on yet another drunken-driving charge. The case was handled by the St. Joseph County (Mich.) prosecutor’s office and a district judge from that county.

The charges weren’t the first time she’d been accused of drunken driving.

In February 1995, while she was serving as a county Trial Court judge in Niles, she was driving home from work and crashed her car on the St. Joseph Valley Parkway (U. S. 31 bypass). A blood-alcohol test at the scene registered a reading of 0.109, a little above the then minimum standard of 0.10.

The next month, it was announced she’d receive only a traffic ticket for careless driving, based on the lack of a subsequent blood-alcohol test. Handling of the situation and the case’s outcome quickly became points of contention for many in the county.

She resigned her judgeship in 2008 after 21 years. From 1996 until her retirement, she presided over the Trial Court’s Civil Division.

Staff writer Lou Mumford: lmumford@sbtinfo.com, 269-687-3551

http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/sbt-lynda-tolen-facing-domestic-violence-charge-20111229,0,1526563.story

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

State-appointed emergency managers make six figures at local community's expense
Tuesday, December 27, 2011 by Kristin Longley

FLINT, Michigan — Cash-strapped communities and school districts in Michigan are paying six-figure salaries to the governor-appointed emergency managers who are supposed to rescue them from financial ruin.

By law, the pay of Michigan’s five emergency managers — ranging from $132,000 to $250,000 — is set by the state, but the money actually is paid by the local communities they’re in charge of.

That rankles those who disagree with the law in the first place, saying the expanded powers of emergency managers go too far.

“What is the proper salary of a dictator?” asked Flint resident Paul Jordan, one of many Michigan residents who has sued the state, saying the emergency manager law overreaches. “Certainly it’s a very big job. But on the other hand, here the people who are paying his salary had no opportunity to hire him.”

Flint’s emergency manager, Michael Brown, is paid $170,000 a year, according to his contract. Managers in Ecorse and Benton Harbor each make $132,000, while the manager in Pontiac receives $150,000.

The chief of Detroit School District, Roy Roberts, was given a $250,000 salary, but took the 10 percent pay cut he ordered for all school employees.

Brown was appointed Dec. 1 to take over Flint’s finances. A state review panel recommended a takeover after finding a structural deficit, recurring cash flow shortages and other financial deficiencies.

The city ended the 2010 budget year with an estimated $15 million deficit. A $7 million deficit is projected for budget year 2011.
Michigan's emergency managers

* Michael Brown, Flint
Appointed: Dec. 1, 2011
Salary: $170,000

* Roy Roberts, Detroit School District
Appointed: May 2011
Salary: $250,000

* Joseph Harris, Benton Harbor
Appointed: April 2010
Salary: $132,000


* Joyce A. Parker, Ecorse
Appointed: October 2009
Salary: $132,000

* Louis Schimmel, Pontiac
Appointed: October
Salary: $150,000

Source: Michigan Treasury

Mayor Dayne Walling’s was Flint’s highest-paid elected official, receiving $91,800 before Brown eliminated his pay and benefits and those of city council members.

Brown on Tuesday partially restored Walling’s pay to $55,000 and council members each will receive $7,000 a year.

“We can’t afford to get the things done we need to do, how can we pay (an emergency manager)?,” said Bishop Bernadel Jefferson, pastor of Faith Deliverance Center in Flint. “The state brought him in but we got to pay for it? The state should pay some.”

Emergency managers got more power in March when the state law was amended, but the part that dictates local communities pay their salaries dates back to the original 1990 statute.

It has been tweaked to have the state treasurer set the emergency manager pay, rather than a board of state officials.

The compensation takes into account the community’s population, geographic size and the complexity of the financial problems, said treasury spokesman Terry Stanton.

Any expenses the emergency manager incurs are also overseen by the state treasury and are required by law to be publicly posted online, he said.

Brown’s salary in Flint is the highest of any of the managers appointed to run cities. Flint, with more than 100,000 people, is also the largest city under a state takeover.

Brown’s pay is comparable to that of Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. The mayor of Michigan’s largest city reduced his pay to $158,558 from $176,000 after ordering furlough days for other city employees, according to The Detroit News.

State Rep. Woodrow Stanley, D-Flint, said emergency manager pay should be commensurate with the mayor’s pay. Stanley, a former Flint mayor, said he’s opposed to the emergency manager law in general because it interferes with voters’ rights to choose their leaders.

“I’ve never been a proponent of what appears to be exorbitant pay,” he said. “I’m sure if the state was required to pick up the tab for some of these expenses, the state would less prone to intervene.”

But a government finance expert and Michigan State University professor who has helped train emergency managers in Michigan said the managers are paid more because they often fulfill the duties of several people or departments.

“People need to think of it as a city-manager-plus,” said Eric Scorsone. “It’s what a city administrator would do, but with the responsibilities of a mayor and the responsibilities of a city council.

“It’s a pretty big job, really unusual in the scope.”

Emergency managers make decisions regarding most city operations, including finances, infrastructure and public safety, Scorsone said.

“And let’s be honest, it’s a temporary job,” Scorsone said. “An emergency manager may be in office a year or two and then that’s it. It’s a high-profile job with responsibility.”

Flint’s former emergency manager Ed Kurtz, who served during the previous 2002-04 state takeover, originally turned down the state-recommended $114,000-a-year salary in favor of $1,000 a month, according to Flint Journal files. He started taking $3,000-a-month salary in 2003, files show.

Brown said he took a pay cut to become Flint’s emergency manager. He was paid $160,000 as president of the Prima Civitas Foundation, an East Lansing-based nonprofit that focuses on economic development, but also received a retirement package he doesn’t get as emergency manager.

Brown said he expects to put in long hours and be on call 24 hours a day in the Flint job.

“I’m going in to this to do a public service,” he said. “I’m going to earn my salary. I know how challenging and tough it’s going to be."

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2011/12/state-appointed_emergency_mana.html

Monday, December 26, 2011

Kudos to Roger Bybee for his masterpiece rebuttal
to the recent NYT Benton Harbor cover story


...But at the opposite end of the globalization process from Juarez, there's another laboratory conducting a related experiment: Benton Harbor, Mich., which once hosted jobs that have moved to places like Juarez...

...In Benton Harbor, a unionized manufacturing workforce has been cast aside and the presence of nearly 10,000 overwhelmingly poor and black people are a potential obstacle to corporations like Whirlpool implementing a plan for redeveloping the area. Benton Harborites, too, have been rendered utterly powerless...

...[Mich.]Gov. Snyder seems to believe that a state takeover of cities is more essential to their health than providing actual financial aid, which has been reserved for Michigan corporations in the form of $1.7 billion in tax cuts...

Full article:
http://www.inthesetimes.com/working/entry/12456/democracy_becomes_disposable_to_fit_era_of_disposable_people/

Saturday, December 17, 2011

8 Cheap High Dividend Yielding Stocks

...Whirlpool Corp. (WHR) suffered the biggest loss this year. The home appliances company lost 43.38% so far since the beginning of this year. Its P/B ratio is also pretty low: only 0.88. It has a dividend yield of 4.10% and a P/E ratio of 10.76...

http://seekingalpha.com/article/313104-8-cheap-high-dividend-yielding-stocks

Friday, December 16, 2011

Yvonne Hickman

Yvonne Hickman uploaded a series of five (5) videos (links below) to describe why she is suing Glynn County, Georgia and individuals who are party to her victimization. She was arrested and banned from Glynn County, Georgia because her husband, a mentally dysfunctional Vietnam veteran with severe PTSD, says Ms. Hickman repeatedly runs over him in her car. Could this happen to you, if you take care of a mentally challenged loved one?

Description: Yvonne Hickman was arrested and banished from her home in Glynn County, Georgia by Judge Barton, Judge Morgan, and Judge DeVooght. Hickman was forced to leave the county with only the clothes on her back, leaving her home, husband, and business. Yvonne's husband is a disabled Vietnam vet who is declared 100% mentally incompetent and unemployable due to PTSD. Mr. Hickman falsely claimed Yvonne ran him over in her car on December 3, 2009, and again on July 20, 2010. Without any injuries or other evidence, and without trial, Yvonne was arrested on December 3, 2009, and ordered to leave her home and never return. This is reminiscent of events in Forsyth County, GA in 1912 when thousands of blacks were forced to flee for their lives, leaving their homes and personal property behind http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/banished/forsyth.html - Legal inquiries invited (912)577-4373 - email YvonneHickman56@gmail.com - Ms. Hickman says, "My home is in foreclosure, my business was closed, and my husband is sick and needs me. Additionally, I am under supervision by Sentinel Offender Services, LLC and extorted of $35 monthly although I have done no crime and am denied a trial to prove my innocence."

Video 1 - http://youtu.be/xjp_jY7so8A - short url http://goo.gl/tLh6c

Video 2 - http://youtu.be/9tWPhk7A_yc - short url http://goo.gl/iD7EA

Video 3 - http://youtu.be/hTchRFjdLnw - short url http://goo.gl/3F0QG

Video 4 - http://youtu.be/QD1kaf4vkeI - short url http://goo.gl/XCJkt

Video 5 - http://youtu.be/WsnEQaqtEyg - short url http://goo.gl/U6e7Z
--
Mary Neal's Google Profile - http://www.google.com/profiles/MaryLovesJustice - Follow me at Twitter @koffietime - http://twitter.com/koffietime - Current, urgent justice issues from a laywoman's viewpoint at my primary blog http://FreeSpeakBlog.blogspot.com (the name is a joke, believe me). See also http://MaryLovesJustice.blogspot.com and Mary Neal at HubPages. Recommended articles - http://topsy.com/site/freespeakblog.blogspot.com - Address: MaryLovesJustice@gmail.com (I am censored, but some emails reach my box)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bill Wolf, Berrien county administrator

Bill Wolf is the current county administrator for Berrien County, Michigan. He attends all weekly county commissioner meetings.

Years ago, Wolf was mayor of Benton Harbor. In The Other Side of the River, a book about Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, by Kotlowitz, Wolf is quoted, beginning with a joke and ending up infuriated:

"Blacks can publicly accuse whites of being racist, but whites can never do that to blacks. One thing we joke about is that there is a Black Congressional Caucus and a Black conference of Mayors. What if we created a White Congressional Caucus and a White Conference of Mayors? The People wouldn't tolerate it... There is a clear double standard and it's infuriating."

Rev. Edward Pinkney has commented on this quotation by stating, "All that's missing is for Wolf to talk about the need for a Klan rally in Berrien County."

OCCUPY the county commissioner meetings. Every Thursday, 10:30am, 701 Main St., St. Joe.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Whirlpool Steals $14 M with Berrien County Commissioner assistance


When is EM Joseph Harris leaving Benton Harbor?

In September Benton Harbor Emergency Manager Joe Harris found evidence that $168 K was missing in BH so he contacted the FBI. Big mistake. Shortly after that, Whirlpool told him he would be leaving his job. Whirlpool and it's real estate corporation Cornerstone Alliance continue to threaten him about losing his job. This is Berrien County, Michigan, after all, where corruption defines the way of life.

************************

Berrien County Commissioners refuse to help African-American Benton Harbor residents

Regarding the $14 million HUD grant for Benton Harbor, and Benton Harbor only, let's just say it's become another grand-sized theft by Whirlpool and Rep. Fred Upton of money desperately needed in BH. HUD rules require that 25% of the 68 homes in a strategic area be "low-income" -- this is the first priority to meet the grant requirement. If the HUD NSP2* grant was being used in accordance with HUD rules, BH residents would receive housing counseling and home buying and down payment assistance. We can't think of a population more in need of this grant.

Where is the money going this time? Whirlpool and Upton agents, the Berrien County Commissioners, have divided up the grant so that roughly $7 million will go to Cornerstone Alliance for their personal use, and to build houses for upper middle class whites in Harbor Town, the resort "town" which is replacing lakefront BH.

The other $7 million goes to the Berrien County Land Bank Authority ** for acquisition "land-banking" and demolition. As 125 demolitions occur, EM Joe Harris will sell the properties to Cornerstone Alliance for $1.00 each. Yes, that's one dollar each.

For details about this gargantuan misuse of funds and phenomenal civil rights injustice, please call Rev. Pinkney, 269-925-0001.

Commissioners who are still silent about the monumental miscarriage of justice:
Dave Pagel
Mac Elliott
John LaMore
Debra Panozzo
Jon Hinkelman
Zach Perkins
Bob Wooley
Mamie L. Yarbrough
Bryan Bixby
Jeanette Leahey
Cathy Thieneman
Andy Vavra


*Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2

************************

**What is a Land Bank?

The short county website page - link below - states outrightly that:

--Benton Harbor neighborhoods are being "targeted"

--that really it's all about BH, and we know that does not mean lifting residents out of poverty and improving living situations as Neighborhood Stability Programs mandate

--that they are using federal money (NSP2 - HUD)

It's not stated, but if you follow Whirlpool's activities, you know this page is dedicated to eliminating BH residents by any means necessary to create a resort for the 1%. Long ago human suffering became a meaningless term to those in St. Joe and Berrien County who are motivated by greed. Someone, probably at WPool, came up with the Land Bank idea 2009 as another helpful eradication (genocide) tool.

http://berriencounty.org/CommunityDevelopment/LandBankAuthority


A fraction of the "Land Banking" information available on wikipedia:

Land banking is the practice of purchasing raw land with the intent to hold on to it until such a time as it is profitable to sell it on to others for more than was initially paid. Land is popular as an investment as it is a tangible asset as opposed to shares or bonds.
The intended increase in value may come from inflation, conversion for use as housing, or potential for extraction of raw materials.
Typically parcels...desirable for land banking are those that lie...in the growth path of rapidly developing cities...The...objective is to identify these parcels well in advance of the developers and wait for the value to be realized.
A...documentary, first aired on BBC...criticized the services offered by many land banking companies...suggesting that they were scamming their customers.

The UK Land Registry issued a press release...advising consumers that the Land Registry has published a guide warning against land banking investment schemes. ...Rudd said that the public were being "misled about the prospects of obtaining planning permission," with well-known banks and developers being falsely cited as partners in the project, and that in some cases forged Land Registry paperwork was being presented to suggest that planning approval existed where it did not.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_banking


Rev. Pinkney, 269-925-0001, banco9342@sbcglobal.net
BANCO, 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Pinkney to Pinkney, blogtalkradio.com, every Sunday, 5-6pm

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Another federal grant FOR Benton Harbor which will be withheld FROM Benton Harbor

Benton Harbor continues it's decades-long decay as grant money is continually directed to St. Joseph and elsewhere by one of America's most corrupt corporations, Whirlpool.

Whirlpool calls all the shots in Berrien County, Michigan. It's real estate arm is Cornerstone Alliance. The Berrien county commissioners, and all government officials in the county, are it's puppets.

Benton Harbor mayor Wilce Cook applied to HUD for a Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 grant of $14 million. As usual, HUD diverted the funds, in this case, to county treasurer Bret Witkowski. It's likely that we have Whirlpool heir Rep. Fred Upton to thank for this. Many times over the years BH officials have contacted HUD to right the wrongs, but to no avail. Whirlpool and Berrien county commissioners are again directing the misuse of funds.

We know that at least part of the $14 million is being redirected to demolish buildings. BH Emergency Manager Joe Harris has sold part of the land to Whirlpool's Cornerstone Alliance for $1.00, and will continue to sell more. This is what good old boys (and girls) do. The county commissioners' hatred of Benton Harbor residents allows them to engineer the city's legendary suffering.

A first-time home buyer, through NSP 2, may qualify for a second silence mortgage loan. If not that loan, the buyer should qualify for up to $30,000.00 for code-related repairs and energy-efficiency home enhancements, or $10,000.00 in rehabilitation closing cost assistance. Whirlpool and Fred Upton make certain BH residents receive none of this.

Rev. Edward Pinkney recently asked the county commissioners to use some NSP 2 money to help a large family who experienced a serious house fire. The commissioners refused to help.

And, Benton Harbor man Timothy Allen is still missing.

Commissioners who remain silent:
Dave Pagel
Mac Elliott
John LaMore
Debra Panozzo
Jon Hinkelman
Zach Perkins
Bob Wooley
Mamie L. Yarbrough
Bryan Bixby
Jeanette Leahey
Cathy Thieneman
Andy Vavra

As we struggle to build a virtuous, moral, and truthful society, it is obvious that a group of commissioners without conscience have chosen to deny the needs of BH by defending and protecting the racist greed of Whirlpool, Cornerstone Alliance, and Fred Upton.

OCCUPY the county commissioner meetings. Every Thursday, 10:30am, 701 Main St., St. Joe.


Rev. Pinkney, 269-925-0001
banco9342@sbcglobal.net
BANCO, 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Senior PGA Championship, May 2012, Benton Harbor:
Get ready to demonstrate. ~Occupy the PGA~
Every Sunday, 5pm, Pinkney to Pinkney show
Blogtalkradio.com, or listen on your phone: 347-994-3644
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Thursday, December 01, 2011

"...we see an obvious pattern [by Whirlpool] to squeeze us out of business. If we don’t take a stand now, there will be no manufacturing left in Benton Harbor."


Benton Harbor Manufacturer’s Web Site Complains Of Land Encroachment, Bullying
December 1, 2011 by Matt Roush

BENTON HARBOR — A property dispute between Benton Harbor’s longest-surviving manufacturer and a golf course development backed by Benton Harbor’s largest company, appliance giant Whirlpool Corp., has spilled over into the Internet.

New Products Corp. has launched a Web site, WhatIsTheBigSqueeze.com. The company said the site “is seeking to raise public awareness and support about ongoing property encroachment and other issues impacting the company” and will “reveal how its operations are being squeezed by other interests in the community.”

“We’ve worked hard to be good neighbors since my grandfather Walter Miller founded the company 90 years ago,” said Cheryl Miller, NPC’s president and CEO. “However, we can no longer be silent about ongoing attempts to squeeze our operations and threaten our future. New Products is being bullied, and it needs to stop.”

In September, NPC filed a lawsuit against Harbor Shores, the city of Benton Harbor and others after numerous attempts to notify Harbor Shores through correspondence and “no trespassing” signs that a portion of its golf course was constructed on NPC’s property.

The lawsuit was filed in Berrien County Circuit Court. Defendants in the complaint are Harbor Shores BHBT Land Development LLC, Harbor Shores Golf Course LLC, the City of Benton Harbor, Benton Township; Whirlpool Corp., PNC Bank and Michigan Magnet Fund E LLC.

A copy of NPC’s legal complaint is available on the new Web site. The complaint seeks damages for trespass and permanent injunctive relief from the defendants’ encroachment of property belonging to New Products Corp.

www.WhatIsTheBigSqueeze.com also includes descriptions with photos and maps of other issues impacting public safety and the company’s operations, along with recommendations for how the public can help raise awareness and advocate for NPC.

“Visitors to the Web site are welcome to draw their own conclusions,” Miller said. “However, we see an obvious pattern to squeeze us out of business. If we don’t take a stand now, there will be no manufacturing left in Benton Harbor. Is that what Michigan wants?”

Founded in Benton Harbor in 1922, NPC is a global supplier of custom, precision die-cast aluminum and zinc parts for thousands of applications in a variety of industries, including automotive, military, industrial machinery, medical instruments, household appliances, transportation equipment, furniture and fixtures, and more. Today, NPC is a TS 16949 certified, woman-owned small business, recognized for its world-class quality. The company currently employs 100 people, a third of which are Benton Harbor residents.

More about the company at www.newproductscorp.com.

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/12/01/benton-harbor-manufacturers-web-site-complains-of-land-encroachment-bullying/?mid=5422

Monday, November 28, 2011

People in Berrien County who could facilitate the search for Timothy Allen but refuse

Chief county prosecutor Art Cotter
Sheriff Paul Bailey
St. Joseph Township Police Chief Ross Bates
County Commissioners:
Dave Pagel
Mac Elliott
John LaMore
Debra Panozzo
Marletta Seats
Jon Hinkelman
Zach Perkins
Bob Wooley
Mamie L. Yarbrough
Bryan Bixby
Jeanette Leahey
Cathy Thieneman
Andy Vavra
Rep. Fred Upton
Benton Harbor Police Chief Roger Lange
State Rep. Al Pscholka
State Sen. John Proos

Rev. Pinkney has received new information indicating that St. Joe Twnshp. police spoke to Mr. Allen in a rude manner. The video is in the possession of BH police who refuse to allow citizens to view it, except for Allen's family.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

In Case Anybody Still Needs Proof that Berrien County, Michigan is Right Up There With THE MOST RACIST Places in the US, Here It Is

A Benton Harbor man has been missing for almost three weeks, and NO ONE IN AN OFFICIAL POSITION has lifted a finger. No one in law enforcement, no one in a county position, no one in St. Joe where he was last seen, no one at the state or federal level, NO ONE.

We know what actions would be taken if a white St. Joe resident disappeared. The list is below. We can add canine searches to the list.

--It has been over 3 weeks since Timothy Allen's visit to Lakeland Hospital in St. Joe. On the evening of Nov. 9 Allen left St. Joe, a 99% white community, and walked over the Napier Ave. bridge toward his Benton Harbor home.

Police were the last to see him according to his family at this Blogtalkradio interview http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rev-pinkney/2011/11/20/pinkney-to-pinkney.

St. Joe township police officer chief Ross Bates stated that an officer saw him walking on the road and ask him to walk on the sidewalk. Another officer said he was given a ride by the St. Joe police. Police were the last to see Timothy Allen.

Allen was in contact with family members everyday. He is 5'7", weighs 155lbs., and was wearing dark pants and a jacket (either brown, red, or orange.) Tip line: 269-849-0438, 804-363-9984; or call Rev. Pinkney.

Allen's family lacks the resources to drag the lake near the bridge where police claim they saw him last. They have no money for a reward at this time. Please help them.

Rev. Pinkney, 269-925-0001
banco9342@sbcglobal.net
BANCO, 1940 Union St., Benton Harbor, MI 49022
Senior PGA Championship, May 2012, Benton Harbor:
Get ready to demonstrate. ~Occupy the PGA~
Every Sunday, 5pm, Pinkney to Pinkney show
Blogtalkradio.com, or listen on your phone: 347-994-3644

Friday, November 25, 2011

Timothy Allen, African-American, Benton Harbor resident, Missing for Three Weeks

Here's what would have happened if this was a white St. Joseph resident (or most likely any white person in Berrien County, Michigan) --


News media would have been on top of the story on a daily basis

All law enforcement in the county would be involved, including the FBI

There would be door-to-door questioning

Rewards would be offered

Dragging of the river would take place

The county commissioners would be involved

Elected officials would make statements

And more..

What happens when a black human being is missing --

Nothing

If you need proof that racism exists in Berrien County, here it is. Think what this says to a community that the proper actions are not taken by the county they live in to make them safe.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blacks Go Missing in Police Custody: Timothy "Bulldog" Allen

PLEASE HELP find Timothy "Bulldog" Allen. His family called an ambulance for him in Benton Harbor, Michigan almost two weeks ago and have not seen him since. There are seven(7) paragraphs, one(1) photo with description, and three(3) links and twenty-eight (28) recent @koffietime tweets in this article (not counting links in tweets). Police were the last to see him, according to his family at this linkfor the Rev. Pinkney Blogtalk radio show on November 20, 2011. His family asks for his return, even if he is dead. They need closure.

MORE INFO AT MaryLovesJustice

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Whirlpool Shares Sinking Lower, Down 2.2%
11/16/2011
By Robert Cotter

One of today's stocks on the move is Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR), down 2.2% to $52.26. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now trading 0.6% lower to 12,019 and the S&P is trading 0.6% lower to 1,251.

Whirlpool Corporation manufactures and markets major home appliances. The Company's principal products include laundry appliances, refrigeration and room air conditioning equipment, cooking appliances, dishwashers, and mixers and other small household appliances. Whirlpool's products are sold worldwide

Whirlpool share prices have moved between a 52-week high of $92.28 and a 52-week low of $47.35 and are now trading 10% above that low price at $52.26 per share. The 200-day and 50-day moving averages have moved 0.69% lower and 0.48% lower over the past week, respectively.

Whirlpool has overhead space with shares priced $52.26, or 24.6% below the average consensus analyst price target of $69.33. The stock should find initial resistance at its 50-day moving average (MA) of $53.65 and further resistance at its 200-day MA of $71.67.

http://www.fnno.com/story/market-movers/331-whirlpool-shares-sinking-lower-down-22-market-movers

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fourteen Million Dollars funnelled away from Benton Harbor

---Several Berrien county commissioners recently stated they really like the way things are going in BH. This is because they don't live there. And, because they approve of the illegal Whirlpool/Harbor Shores land theft and takeover. For 15 or more years federal money targeted for Benton Harbor has been funnelled away from the city. It's happening again, and with money that could really alleviate suffering of residents. FOURTEEN MILLION DOLLARS. It comes from HUD's Neighborhood Stability Program 2. Ask Joseph Harris, BH Emergency Manager, and Bret Witkowski, Berrien County Treasurer how this money will be used. It's not hard to imagine... Harbor Shores homes and golf course, or Whirlpool's new "campus..."

Constitutionally guaranteed freedom does not exist in Berrien county, Michigan. Yet, those who are stealing it, the county commissioners and Whirlpool Corporation, are permitted to do so by all local, state, and national officials who could end it. Those of us in Benton Harbor, especially, suffer the lack of justice.

The commissioners consist of 12 whites and 1 African-American and they refuse to lift a finger to help residents of Benton Harbor -- taxes paid by residents are NOT put back into their OWN community.

---Commissioners voted for the Berrien County Emergency Management Office of Homeland Security to be able to apply for federal funds for the development and maintenance of the program "capable of protecting life, property, and vital infrastructure in time of disaster - everywhere in Berrien county except Benton Harbor. They only take from residents who are living a disaster every single day. It's a mystery how human beings (like in St. Joe) can live so close to this and not care. They carry out target practice to ensure that not a single resident of Benton Harbor is left alive.

Benton Harbor continues to be a city under seige. When will it end and residents can breathe freely, live happy lives?

---The NAACP-BH has an important goal: to spread our fight locally, in the state, nationally, and internationally. We feel that BH will continue to live in the most dire straights imaginable until people from the outside step in. The mishandling of public trust by Berrien county couldn't be more massive, unjust, inhumane, and unconstitutional. Representative to congress Fred Upton, along with Whirlpool, spearhead the oppression.

Rev. Pinkney, 269-925-0001
banco9342@sbcglobal.net
[Voting in the town which Whirlpool controls]

Benton Harbor absentee ballot fury forces recount (article summarized)

The Michigan Citizen, by Bankole Thompson

BENTON HARBOR – As in Detroit, an absentee ballot controversy engulfs the city of Benton Harbor.

At the center of the matter is the allegation of possible ballot tampering.
A 30-year-veteran politician, City Commissioner Ralph Crenshaw, running for re-election, was seen carrying a box of AV ballots to the Donald C. Mitchell Federal Building where the ballots were being counted on election night.
“He should not have touched those ballots because he was a candidate in the election,” said Etta Harper who ran for commissioner-at-large seat in a tightly contested race. Harper came in third. She received 261 votes, Crenshaw, 270; and former commissioner Rickie Hill had the highest number with 281.
Harper is demanding answers as to why a candidate in a race would be carrying ballots with him.
...“What I was told by a couple of different people who were there was that one of the election workers was on her way to the election hall and needed help. She is a senior citizen,” Stein [clerk] said. “She called for help and nobody showed up. So finally commissioner Crenshaw asked if he could do it. That’s what two different people told me.”
However election law prohibits candidates from handling ballots. Requests for a recount can be made six calendar days after the election.
Stein advised Harper to take her case to the County prosecutor’s office. Harper said she did just that. “We asked the prosecutor to allow the state police to investigate it. The prosecutor has turned it over to the Sheriff’s Department,” Harper said.
Harper said she does not feel the Sheriff’s deputies could handle the case thoroughly and independently given numerous cases with the city in the past. She wants the state police to come in.
The Rev. Edward Pinkney, an activist minister, said the Benton Harbor election was fraught with problems.
“The election assistants were turning registered voters away,” Pinkney said. “ If you moved from your address from the last 60 days you were not eligible to vote at the precinct. But they turned away people who moved three weeks.”
In some cases the names of precinct listed on voters’ registration certificates were not the ones they were to cast their vote at.
“Most young people who came to the polls did not bother to challenge it. They just returned home,” Pinkney said. “Most young people said they were voting for Harper.”
A poll watcher at Calvin Briton elementary school said a young female voter was turned away because she walked into the precinct 15 minutes before the polls closed at 8:pm.
“The girl was there before eight and they said she can’t vote,” Kinnard said.
Crenshaw could not be reached and Benton Harbor City Clerk Joyce Taylor did not return calls.

http://michigancitizen.com/benton-harbor-absentee-ballot-fury-forces-recount-p2383-1.htm

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Berrien County Commission meeting Nov. 3, 2011

For many years I have been attending Berrien County Commissioner meetings. I always leave the meeting with the feeling I've been in a room with racists.

People who come to speak to the commissioners are given just 2 minutes to say whatever they want. On Nov. 3 I decided to get their attention.

First I gave some information on the Perkins family from Benton Harbor. Their house burned down and they have nine children. It was obvious that this group of officials could care less about the family because they are Black. Not once in the many meetings I've attended has this board done anything for the people of Benton Harbor. Not once. For them, BH doesn't exist.
Throughout history this has been the case. The oppressors can't think about the suffering they cause - it would force them to develop consciences.

I was able to capture their attention when I told them about the country of Libya. This information is what got the nation's most racist county visibly upset:

At least until very recently, all of the following facts have been the way of life in Libya.
1. Electricity is free for all citizens.
2. Banks are state owned. Loans are given with zero % interest.
3. Having a home is considered a human right in Libya.
4. Newlyweds receive $60,000.00 dinar to buy their first apt. and help start a family.
5. Education and medical treatment are free. Before Gaddafi the literacy rate was 25%; today it's 83%.
6. Should a citizen want to farm, they receive land, house, equipment, seeds, and livestock.
7. Should a citizen need education or medical treatment not available in the country, the gov. funds them to go abroad. They would also receive $2300.00 a month for accommodation and car allowance.
8. When citizens buy cars, they are subsidized for half the price.
9. The price of gas is 14 cents per liter.
10. Libya has no external debt and its reserves amounting to $150 billion are now frozen globally.
11. If a citizen is unable to get employment after graduation, the state pays the average salary.
12. A portion of every oil sale is credited directly to the bank accounts of citizens.
13. When a mother gives birth, she receives $5000.00. [Child care is viewed as an extremely important job.]
14. 40 loaves of bread costs 15 cents.
15. Gaddfi carried out the world's largest irrigation project known as the great manmade river project - to make water readily available throughout the desert country.
16. The US called Gaddafi a dictator.

Rev. Pinkney

Monday, October 31, 2011

Whirlpool to cut 5,000 jobs [report on TV said jobs were being sent to Mexico]
By MAE ANDERSON ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK — Whirlpool plans to cut 5,000 jobs, about 10% of its workforce in North America and Europe, as it faces soft demand and higher costs for materials.

The world’s biggest appliance maker also on Friday cut its 2011 earnings outlook drastically and reported third-quarter results that missed expectations, hurt by higher costs and a slowdown in emerging markets.

The company, whose brands include Maytag and KitchenAid, has, like other appliance makers, been squeezed by soft U.S. demand since the recession and rising costs for materials such as steel and copper. Because of its size, Whirlpool’s performance provides a window on the economy because it indicates whether consumers are comfortable spending on big-ticket items.

Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool has raised prices to combat higher costs, but demand for items like refrigerators and washing machines remains tight.

To offset slowing North American sales, Whirlpool has turned to emerging markets. But the company said Friday that sales have slowed there, too. The company revised its demand forecast globally. It now expects demand to decline 3% to 5% in North America, in 2011.

Steep costs and the dour global economy are affecting the entire appliance industry. Swedish appliance maker Electrolux said Friday that its third-quarter net income fell 39% and also cut its forecast for demand in North America and Europe for the year.

Whirlpool jobs to be cut are mostly in North America and Europe. They include 1,200 salaried positions and the closing of the company’s Ft. Smith, Ark., plant.

http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODE/DFREEP/LandingPage/LandingPage.aspx?href=REZQLzIwMTEvMTAvMjk.&pageno=MjA.&entity=QXIwMjAwMQ..&view=ZW50aXR5

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Berrien County Court Report

People from all over the world engage in court watching with Rev. Edward Pinkney to see the extreme corruption and racism for themselves. The reputation is spreading.

And, it says a lot about the government of the state of Michigan that it allows this unspeakably inhumane court to operate unfettered and uncontrolled.

On Tuesday October 25 Chae Hwa Roo from South Korea and J. Gilberto from Mexico joined Rev. Pinkney and were shocked at what they saw. Judge Dennis Wiley belittled a parade of black people who went before him. His treatment was extremely harsh.

On Wednesday October 26 attorney Tat Parish, one of the greatest defense attorneys in the country, was attacked by judge Dennis Wiley. He held his own again the madman.

Attorney Parish's client had taken a drug test which came back positive for marijuana. Parish told Wiley his client had not smoked any drugs in the last ten days. Judge Wiley called Parish a liar and stated marijuana only stays in the system
for seven days. He had his facts wrong again.

Marijuana is stored in the fat cells of the body, in the brain, liver and kidney. THC can stay in a person's body for 90 days and in the hair for between 3 months to 3 years.

The reality is that America, which proclaims itself the land of the free, has the most dishonest and dangerous legal system of any developed nation.

Legal corruption is covering America like a blanket. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. We must Occupy courtooms in every county in the US.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Is extortion too strong a word?

MSU law professor Jeanice Dagher represented a young man from Benton Harbor in Berrien County's notorious courthouse Friday.

Judge Wiley, more madman than usual, denied her request to reduce court costs and fines. Atty. Dagher explained that a defendant pleading guilty is normally not charged nearly what Wiley was charging: over $1,200.00. Wiley is used to the Berrien way (the court functioning partly as a cash cow) and told her with crazy sounding strong language that he could and would charge whatever he wanted.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Election" in Benton Harbor

Rev. Pinkney believes that Benton Harbor's Emergency Manager, Joseph Harris, will be gone soon. The main reason for this is that Whirlpool will fix the upcoming November election so that James Hightower becomes the new mayor. Hightower is a "Whirlpool man." With him at the helm, Whirlpool will actually be at the helm. Harris will have served his function and will no longer be needed. He has been paid very well, $132K per year, to carry out the corporate agenda of removal of a population through illegal imprisonments and other horrors for the purpose of redevelopment of the land.

You may be wondering why an election is being held in a city with an Emergency Manager; once an EM is appointed, democracy is eradicated, right? Well, there are certain things pertaining to a city charter that cannot be altered. Therefore, Harris (Whirlpool) has seven items on the ballot besides the mayoral decision. Two of them are - the effort to eliminate the wards in Benton Harbor (easier to control elections), and changing the city commission term from 4 years to 2 years.

Wiley, the Whirlpool drunk on the bench

On Tuesday, Judge Wiley denied a young Mexican man the right to have his criminal record expunged. The reason? He was a minority.

Judge Dennis Wiley is openly violating the constitutional rights of minorities. The majority of Berrien County court employees know about this drunk, racist judge. He and his blatant corruption make Berrien County a third world nation.

Wiley has to be the most crooked judge in the whole judiciary. He has shown wanton negligence in at least over 75% of his cases. His conduct, among other judges, is the subject of a criminal investigation by a law center.

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Goldman Sachs Downgrades Whirlpool (WHR) to Sell, Sees 24% Downside
October 18, 2011

Goldman Sachs downgraded Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) to Sell with a price target of $42, suggesting 24% downside.
The firm said the upcoming supply increases in Brazil from LG and Samsung will pressure the company's highest margin business. Goldman notes that Brazil/Latin America accounts for 25% of Whirlpool sales, but 50% of its operating profit given the high margins.
Goldman sees the company's 2014 EPS goal of $15 as "unrealistic". They expect 2013 EPS of $4.67, well below consensus of $8.37, and 2014 EPS of $5.52.
For more ratings news on Whirlpool Corporation click here and for the rating history of Whirlpool Corporation click here.
Shares of Whirlpool Corporation closed at $54.98 yesterday, with a 52 week range of $47.35-$92.28.

via StreetInsider.com

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Whirlpool "Streamlines"

Here are two articles on WP firings - don't miss the comments, although the first article's quotes from Whirlpool do enough damage to the corporation's credibility.

Whirlpool: Jobs Cuts "Difficult but Necessary"
Oct 11, 2011 By Tom Powell

Whirlpool announced Tuesday it is making "organizational changes." The changes include layoffs, but the company is not specifying how many people will lose their jobs.
A Whirlpool Spokesperson released the following statement to FOX 28 News:
"We communicated yesterday to employees regarding organizational changes in our North American Region. The changes are designed to create a more streamlined organization, allowing the company to operate more effectively, and to adapt more quickly, in current and forecasted market conditions. Most of Whirlpool Corporation's U.S. and Canadian locations were included; however we will not be providing additional details by location. Employees whose jobs were affected were notified yesterday.
Employee meetings were held this morning at various Whirlpool locations to discuss the changes and allow employees an open venue to ask questions of Whirlpool leaders.
This is a difficult, but necessary adjustment as we address a volatile marketplace in which demand for major appliances is currently at recessionary levels. Out of respect for the privacy of our employees we are not sharing specific numbers, however the job adjustments are spread across locations in the U.S. and Canada."
Whirlpool employs about 4,000 people in Benton Harbor, according to Cornerstone Alliance, an economic development group in the area.
"We are aware of the organizational effectiveness moves being made by Whirlpool Corporation and are concerned with some of the numbers being speculated within the community as to individuals impacted. We have heard rumors of job cuts in the realm of several hundred, which we know to be exaggerated," said Cornerstone Alliance President Wendy Dant Chesser in a statement to FOX 28 News. "However, we also realize that the loss of even just one job greatly affects not only that employee and their family, but also the broader community. This is why Cornerstone Alliance is working aggressively to court new businesses to our region and support many of the existing companies in our area that continue to thrive, despite the downturn in the economy."

Denise
Shame on Whirlpool. Are they getting rid of foreign employees as well? They should be taxed at about 90% to bring their products back into our country. How shortsighted-if I were the CEO the person who came up with this "organizational effectiveness" is fired. Let's use some imagination. Pretty soon the only employee left is the CEO-who will do the work then?

Nifty
PS.. I like the use of the term "organizational effectiveness moves". Nice....sorry, you are not effective in our organization anymore. Also, sweet touch on the "It gets better" release timing... reflective of the CYA / 'no responsibility" mentality ...

Nifty
All the best for those out of work now...and those left behind to do more work. It is a real pity that the incompetent WHR leaders aren't walked out the door.... where is the Board looking out for the shareholders' interests ? Nowhere. Millions of dollars to keep 4 jets, a new $40m building that isn't needed (particularly now), and time and again, failed strategies to increase profits (is it brand or product or channel strategy this year ?). So, what does one do when you can't improve profits when you have the market share leadership ? Fire employees.... it is a complete admission of failure in leadership and talent recruitment (I wonder if any HR leaders were let go this time...the ones charged with talent recruitment should obviously be the first to go, right ?). Maybe when they fire the next several hundred employees, the Board might start to wake up ...don't hold your breath.


http://www.fox28.com/story/15670025/whirlpool-says-jobs-cuts-are-difficult-but-necessary

Whirlpool cuts local jobs
Company won't say how many
“The changes are designed to create a more streamlined organization..."

by Mark Peterson
mpeterson@wndu.com

Whirlpool has eliminated jobs in the greater Benton Harbor / St. Joseph area, although it won’t say how many jobs.
Company Spokesperson Kristine Vernier said that Whirlpool isn’t sharing specific numbers out of respect for the privacy of the affected workers.
Whirlpool employs some 4,000 workers locally, but Vernier says that job cuts also took place beyond Berrien County--at Whirlpool facilities all across the United States and Canada.
“The changes are designed to create a more streamlined organization, allowing the company to operate more effectively, and to adapt more quickly, in current and forecasted market conditions,” Vernier said in a written statement.
The statement goes on to say that the marketplace is volatile and that “demand for major appliances is currently at recessionary levels.”
The employees whose jobs were affected were notified yesterday, according to the statement.
Under certain conditions an employer would be required to notify state and local government of a ‘large layoff,’ for instance, if plans called for 500 or more people to be let go in a 30-day period.
When asked if Whirlpool filed such notification, Vernier said that the layoff did not meet those criteria.
Late today, The Cornerstone Alliance issued a news release in which President Wendy Dant Chesser states, "We are aware of the organizational effectiveness moves being made by Whirlpool Corporation and are concerned with some of the numbers being speculated within the community as to individuals impacted. We have heard rumors of job cuts in the realm of several hundred, which we know to be exaggerated."

by wickileaks on Oct 14, 2011
this is only the first wave coming there will be more, possibly in about 2 weeks the next wave will happen, then possibly january more. All this while Jeff Fettig and his friends have a new corporate jet to fly around in, oh thats right they didnt mention that did they? where is the investigative reporting? next thing to go wil be the 401k match to the leftover employees while fettigs stock options increase, he'll still get his bonus, doubt average joe will get a bonus, or a raise next year.... mark my words

by Les on Oct 12, 2011 at 06:04 AM
I wonder how much just a 10-15% executive pay and bonus reduction would save the company? I doubt that was discussed as an option. Do you really need millions in your bonus on top of a million dollar salary Jeff Fettig? How much do your many executives deserve to stare out at the lake all day? Oh, we can't do that. We will lose our "top talent." Does it really take top talent to come up with a 'let's fire some people that make $35K/yr' plan. Brilliant. Show some real leadership and cost cut where the fat actually exists.

by Dianne on Oct 12, 2011
Hmmmmm. Wonder if the case reported below has something to do with the lay offs?? They were caught price gouging.... Mighty convenient lay offs would happen right now since they lost 140 Million. Embraco, a division of Michigan-based Whirlpool, and Panasonic Corp. pleaded guilty last year and together agreed to pay $140 million.

by Whoa There Pards... on Oct 11, 2011
2 months ago they were predicting the best year ever: "The company is reaffirming its annual operating EPS guidance(5) of $12.00 to $13.00 and free cash flow guidance in the range of $400 million to $500 million. Given the current operating environment, Whirlpool is guiding EPS to the low end of the range."

by Nifty Location: BH on Oct 11, 2011
All the best for those out of work now...and those left behind to do more work. It is a real pity that the incompetent WHR leaders aren't walked out the door.... where is the Board looking out for the shareholders' interests? Nowhere. Millions of dollars to keep 4 jets, a new $40m building that isn't needed (particularly now), and time and again, failed strategies to increase profits (is it brand or product or channel strategy this year ?). So, what does one do when you can't improve profits when you have the market share leadership ? Fire employees.... it is a complete admission of failure in leadership and talent recruitment (I wonder if any HR leaders were let go this time...the ones charged with talent recruitment should obviously be the first to go, right ?). Maybe when they fire the next several hundred employees, the Board might start to wake up ...don't hold your breath. PS.. I like the use of the term "organizational effectiveness moves". Nice....sorry, you are not effective in our organization anymore. Also, sweet touch on the "It gets better" release timing... reflective of the CYA / 'no responsibility" mentality ...

by Anonymous on Oct 11, 2011 at 08:07 PM
You can pretty much tell a layoff is coming when St.Joe puts up the We Love Whirlpool Sign on Broad street.

http://www.wndu.com/hometop/headlines/Whirlpool_cuts_local_jobs__131550748.html

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Benton Harbor in the New York Times

The New York Times has been working on an article about Benton Harbor. Keep an eye out, as it should appear any day now. Rev. Pinkney was interviewed for several hours by a reporter who traveled to BH, and yesterday the newspaper sent a photograher to town.

Judge Dennis Wiley receives award

A progressive national organization, Foxfire, has been keeping an eye on the Berrien County courthouse among other courts, and has given Judge Dennis Wiley the Jackass of the Year award for the second time in three years. He is notorious throughout Berrien County and elsewhere for corruption, innocent convictions, and blatant inebriation on the bench.

The judicial system which employs Wiley is itself blatantly corrupt, denies procedural rights guaranteed by the constitution, and violates the basic right to equality before the law.

Berrien County is known for rigged courts, fake and phony trials, and extortion by judges and lawyers. In this courthouse, the focus is on jailing young black BH males - approximately 1 out of 25 are imprisoned.

Rev. Edward Pinkney watches Judge Wiley on a daily basis, recording his words and actions. This week Pinkney was joined by two new court-watchers, a Brazilian and a Columbian. An architect of the court's racism and corruption, now on the west Michigan federal bench, is Judge Paul Maloney. He illegally set aside the '05 BH recall election of Glen Yarbrough. Maloney was in court this week - Rev. Pinkney made sure their eyes met.

Listen to Rev. Pinkney's radio show
every Sunday, 5-6pm.
BlogTalkRadio.com/rev-pinkney

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Activist Slams Fox News Producer In Un-Aired Interview

Well, here is an interview that Fox News filmed, but doesn’t want you to see.

read the full article at Observer.com
Whirlpool lays off 25 at Arkansas plant
By AP | October 04, 2011

FORT SMITH, Ark. — Whirlpool Corp. officials say nearly two dozen people have been laid off at its plant in Fort Smith.

In a statement released Tuesday, the company announced that 22 employees had been let go at the facility.

Officials announced in July that about 25 salaried employees would separate from the company or take retirement.

The company cites reduced demand for major appliances and what it called "unfair trade practices by foreign competitors selling refrigerators in the United States."

Whirlpool laid off 850 employees at the Fort Smith plant in late 2010, leaving an estimated 1,020 hourly and 110 salaried workers.

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/article/48738--whirlpool-lays-off-25-at-arkansas-plant

Saturday, October 01, 2011

...Whirlpool Execs Charged In Price-Fixing Sting

by Mark Brush, 9/28/11

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury in Detroit has indicted three former executives from a Whirlpool Corporation subsidiary, a Panasonic Corporation, and a Tecumseh Products Company subsidiary for conspiring to fix prices on refrigerant compressors.

The compressors are used in refrigerators and freezers...

...Sharis A. Pozen, Acting Assistant Attorney General from the DOJ's Antitrust Division said:

“Cracking down on international price fixing cartels has been and will continue to be among the most significant priorities for the Antitrust Division. Our investigation into the refrigerant compressors industry has already resulted in two companies – Panasonic and Embraco North America – pleading guilty and paying a total of $140.9 million in criminal fines. Our investigation is continuing.”

The three are being charged for price fixing under the Sherman Act. The maximum penalty they each face is 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine.


http://www.michiganradio.org/post/three-corporate-executives-indicted-compressor-price-fixing-case

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-mi-pricefixing-compr,0,3467906.story

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110927-714992.html#articleTabs_comments

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Joseph Harris is Whirlpool Corporation's Perfect Stooge:
No Constitution Week allowed, and no complaints
allowed by well-established businesses


Harris, recipient of a taxpayer funded $131,000.00 yearly salary, has been more than willing to wield his EM power with the greatest of ease. Since the expansion of PA4, he can do absolutely anything he wants to do in Benton Harbor, and has been doing just that with an extreme show of arrogant authority. As if to say, I'm king of the playground and residents better look out.

Recently he cancelled Constitution Week with one brash statement in the city commission meeting minutes (caps are his):

"THE FOLLOWING ACTION TAKEN OR DECISION MADE BY THE CITY COMMISSION WAS NOT AUTHORIZED BY THE EMERGENCY MANAGER AND IS NULL AND VOID, AND OF NO FORCE OR EFFECT."

City officials can't hold a celebration of the constitution? We know all the other decisions they can no longer make, according to PA4, but no Constitution Week?

We suppose Harris doesn't want a celebration of something that no longer applies to the people living in this city. He's the man, after all. He's not only taken the Emergency Manager ball and run with it, he won't even stop to throw a pass now and then. Harris is the evil step-father in Benton Harbor.

Here's another action he took which will only attract negative attention his way:

Harris, also known as The Dictator, has been sparring with Benton Harbor's New Product's Corporation, one of the city's oldest businesses. CEO Cheryl Miller asserts that a Harbor Shores bike path under construction encroaches on New Product's property by about five feet for a length of 100 feet. Harris said Miller has no grounds to be complaining, that her complaining is the wrong thing to do, and that she will get an answer from him that she will not like.

Harris is not known for his diplomacy. And that's the way Whirlpool likes it.

Thanks to MSNBC for continuing to report on Benton Harbor, the bellwether for the rest of the country. Hopefully someday soon MSNBC will gather the courage to report on the elephant in this story's livingroom: Whirlpool Corporation, the true boss (in the worst sense of the word) of BH and Berrien County.

Recent MSNBC story:

http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/09/19/7839166-benton-harbor-emergency-manager-cancels-constitution-week

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dictatorship by the Corporations

"We are still fighting for justice against Whirlpool and the Emergency Financial Manager (EFM) in Benton Harbor. We might be driving the EFM out of town. We’ll know soon. We need to keep up the fight." - Rev Edward Pinkney Photo/Brett Jelinek, OlafImages.com


By Salvador Sandoval

Unable to take the lakefront property by its accustomed means, Whirlpool took the land it wanted anyway. This travesty was accomplished through actions of the Michigan State appointed Emergency Financial Manager Joseph Harris.


I had the privilege of interviewing the Rev. Edward Pinkney. Rev. Pinkney gained national recognition for leading the impoverished, overwhelmingly Black community of Benton Harbor, Michigan in its fight against the corporate takeover by Whirlpool Corporation. The struggle highlights the growing fascist danger in this country that arises when government and corporations work together in the corporate interest, trampling democratic rights, and overturning democratically held elections.

Once a thriving part of the Midwest, Benton Harbor sits on prime lake-front property near Lake Michigan. Whirlpool is the largest employer in the area. It has long held plans to take over this valuable land.

In the early 1990’s jobs began to disappear. Production was shifted to lower wage areas in Mexico, or taken away by labor replacing technology, which caused massive unemployment in Benton Harbor.

In 2003-2004 the former CEO of Whirlpool advocated for a $500 million marina/golf course complex that would take 530 acres of Benton Harbor, thus privatizing the city’s only beach.

Rev. Pinkney and the community mounted a campaign to oppose the take-over, despite the stranglehold control Whirlpool had with six city commissioners favoring its plan. The campaign led to the successful recall of a key commissioner in Whirlpool’s pocket.

Thereafter, in a staggering series of events, the recall was over-turned, Rev. Pinkney was charged with voter fraud, and he was acquitted. Then he was placed on parole after a second court of all white jurors found him guilty of hand carrying an absentee ballot.

He was subsequently charged and convicted of parole violation. He was given 3 to 10 years for quoting the Bible in criticizing the judge and penal system for mistreatment of prisoners! This sentence was overturned by the Michigan Appellate Court.

Since that fateful day in 2005 when the control of Benton harbor was challenged, the political landscape of Benton Harbor had changed. In 2008 four commissioners favorable to the Benton Harbor Community have been elected, effectively breaking Whirlpool’s stranglehold control.

Unable to take the lakefront property by its accustomed means, Whirlpool took the land it wanted anyway. This travesty was accomplished through actions of the Michigan State appointed Emergency Financial Manager Joseph Harris. By the authority of the new state law an EFM can be a person, corporation, or person beholden to a corporation.

Thus Benton Harbor, Michigan became the first victim of Michigan’s new Emergency Financial Manager law (EFM), but it likely won’t be the last. Already 5000 teachers in Detroit have been laid off, in violation of their union contracts.

The case of Rev. Pinkney and his continuing battle with the corporate control of Benton Harbor has tremendous implications for the rest of the country, given the state budget shortfalls. At issue too is the fact that many corporations do not pay taxes.

It is important that all of us heed this warning. As Reverend Pinkney stated, “this could be coming to your town next.”

This article is excerpted from a longer version published in the Sept-Oct. edition of the Tribuno del Pueblo.


We are still fighting for justice against Whirlpool and the Emergency Financial Manager in Benton Harbor. We might be driving the EFM out of town. We need to keep up the fight.

— Rev. Edward Pinkney


from People's Tribune

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Whirlpool Stock Hits New 52-Week Low
By TheStreet Wire 9/21/11

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) hit a new 52-week low Wednesday as it is currently trading at $50.71, below its previous 52-week low of $50.92 with 1.4 million shares traded as of 3:36 p.m. ET. Average volume has been two million shares over the past 30 days.

Whirlpool has a market cap of $4 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are down 40.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

Whirlpool Corporation engages in the manufacture and marketing of home appliances worldwide. Its principal products include laundry appliances, refrigerators, cooking appliances, dishwashers, mixers, and other small household appliances. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.1, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

* Practice your WHR trading strategies and win cash in our stock game.

TheStreet Ratings rates Whirlpool as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and reasonable valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11255720/1/whirlpool-stock-hits-new-52-week-low-whr.html
Fake Crimes by Paul Craig Roberts

Studies show Americans close to being the worst educated and least aware population among first-world countries. Americans easily stumble into war and give up their rights because of exaggerated fears of terrorists and criminals. Americans have been losing accountable government, liberty and justice for a long time. At some point these values become irretrievable.

Consider justice. The US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world and imprisons 6 to 10 times as many people as any other industrialized country. Between 1990 and 2000 the US population increased 13%. The US prison population more than tripled.

There are hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans in prison. They are there because the criminal justice system no longer works to discover the truth of a crime, but to convict at all cost whoever happens to be charged with a crime. And they are there because the US criminalizes more acts than any other country in the world, including tyrannical police states.

In the US there are three categories of prisoners: the guilty, the innocent, and those convicted as a result of prosecutors' interpretations of vague and broad statutes that deem conduct to be criminal that reasonable people — and every other country — do not recognize to be criminal.

For example, in the Martha Stewart case, the prosecutor criminalized her exercise of her constitutional right to declare her innocence. He said it constituted fraud for her to declare her innocence and tacked on the charge. Remember that if you ever stand before a judge.

Almost everyone in prison is wrongfully convicted, even the guilty. According to the US Dept. of Justice (sic), 95% of criminal convictions result from plea-bargains. What is a plea bargain but self-incrimination, conviction without a trial by jury and without a test of the evidence against the defendant?

An uninformed public believes plea bargains to be sweet deals for criminals. Sometimes they are, but more often pleas result from prosecutors piling on charges until the defendant, innocent or guilty, cries "uncle" and gives up.

Prosecutors not only coerce defendants, they coerce witnesses to give false testimony. Sometimes coercion takes place behind closed doors. Other times it takes place in full public view.

Consider husband and wife defendants Andrew and Lea Fastow in the Enron case. The Fastows have two young children. In order to coerce "cooperation" and testimony against Enron executives, the federal prosecutors threatened to put both father and mother in prison, effectively rendering the two young children orphans.

In Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz's immortal words, Andrew Fastow is being taught not only to sing but also to compose. To keep his wife out of prison, he will give the prosecutors whatever testimony they want against his bosses.

The American public watches all this in plain view and then believes the testimony!

You may think that Enron officials deserve what they get. But do you approve of the illegal and unethical methods used to produce the convictions? In effect are the prosecutors as guilty of criminal behavior as those they pursue?

"Junk bond king" Michael Milken was put into a similar situation. Unless he agreed to a plea, the prosecutors threatened to indict his younger brother.

If prosecutors can so easily frame the wealthy and politically connected, what do you think happens daily to the inner city poor?

Prosecutor Rudy Giuliani was a master at using the media to destroy the reputations of his victims, thus pre-empting a trial where evidence of a crime could be tested. Giuliani climbed over the bodies of his high-profile victims to become mayor of New York and a 911 hero.

Now it is Martha Stewart and mutual funds who have been targeted as a prosecutor's path to a political career.

Martha Stewart is falsely charged with "insider trading," an offense of which she cannot be guilty as she is not an insider and had no information from an insider.

Legal scholar and law school dean Henry Manne has shown (Wall St. Journal, 1-8-04) that prosecutor Eliot Spitzer's charges against mutual funds are largely trumped-up. The offenses are partly the unintended result of a Security and Exchange Commission "reform," which capped redemption fees that mutual funds used to discourage market timers.

Prosecutor Spitzer's claims about mutual funds are based, not on law, but on an academic paper written at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. In other words, the prosecutor has a "theory." Professor Manne has shown the academic paper to be incorrect. What we are witnessing is a mutual fund witch-hunt based on an incorrect academic theory.

And Americans think they live under a rule of law!

No doubt some mutual fund managers exercised bad judgment and some may have broken some rules. But Spitzer's ambition has blown the cases out of proportion. We certainly do not want to criminalize bad judgment. It is hard to find a worse case of bad judgment than the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq.

February 4, 2004

Dr. Roberts [send him mail] is John M. Olin Fellow at the Institute for Political Economy, Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He is the co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

Copyright © 2004 Creators Syndicate
LewRockwell.com

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Whirlpool in hot water again

Press Release

[Across the street from New Products Corporation is Modern Plastics. Whirlpool Corp. cut off some suppliers of Modern Plastics and forced it to go out of business. It seems New Products Corp. is determined that Whirlpool will not bully them.]

Sept. 14, 2011
New Products Corporation Files Lawsuit to Stop Encroachment of Company Property

BENTON HARBOR, Mich., Sep 14, 2011 (The Wall Street Journal-BUSINESS WIRE-Marketwatch) -- One of Benton Harbor's oldest and longest surviving manufacturing companies, New Products Corporation, today filed a lawsuit against Harbor Shores, the city of Benton Harbor and others after numerous attempts to notify Harbor Shores through correspondence and "no trespassing" signs that a portion of its golf course was constructed on the company's property.

The lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court for the County of Berrien. Defendants named in the complaint are Harbor Shores BHBT Land Development, LLC, Harbor Shores Golf Course, LLC, City of Benton Harbor, Benton Township; Whirlpool Corporation, PNC Bank and Michigan Magnet Fund E, LLC.

New Products Corporation is a custom precision, high pressure die caster and supplier of aluminum and zinc parts that are shipped to dozens of customer plants throughout the United States and worldwide. Established in 1922 by Walter Miller, New Products Corporation is now led by the founder's granddaughter, CEO and President Cheryl Miller. The company currently employs 100 people, a third of which are Benton Harbor residents.

According to attorney Mark S. Demorest of Demorest Law Firm, PLLC, who is representing New Products Corporation, the lawsuit was filed because the company's prior communications with Harbor Shores did not resolve the problem.

The complaint seeks damages for trespass and permanent injunctive relief from the defendants' encroachment of property belonging to New Products Corporation.

"We have a long history of being good neighbors and contributors to the local community, and we are committed to continuing that tradition," said Miller. "While New Products is not a big company, we are a world class, viable Michigan and U.S. manufacturer and one of the few remaining in this area. We feel it is vitally important for us to take a stand and protect what's ours. It's not right for someone, no matter who they are or what they do, to take property that doesn't belong to them."

For more information about New Products Corporation, visit www.newproductscorp.com

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-products-corporation-files-lawsuit-to-stop-encroachment-of-company-property-2011-09-14

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Berrien County Court Report from Rev. Pinkney

Pinkney, a daily court observer, was joined by two people this week, one from S. Korea and one from Mexico. Both are working with the Institute for International Cooperation and Development (IICD) Michigan located in Dowagiac, Mich. The Mexican man had a strong reaction to the proceedings, remarking that:

"In this court, all they do is extract money and imprison people. In Mexico, the defense attorneys fight for the defendant. In this court they give up on them. And, in Mexico, many judges are corrupt because they are terrified of the drug criminals. What they do is assist them, out of fear." (In Berrien County, the criminals come in the form of a land-hungry corporation...)

The South Korean woman said she couldn't have imagined that a court could be so corrupt in the United States.

The two visitors witnessed many miscarriages of justice including Judge Wiley giving Antonio Smith 90 days in jail for contempt of court (scroll down to Sept. 9 for info), and sentencing a man about to die to jail. He was on a breathing tank and using a walker.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Next Support Level for Whirlpool (WHR) is $50.71
Mon. 09/12/2011
By Peter Chu

Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) has opened bearishly below the pivot of $52.82 today and has reached the first level of support at $51.63. Should the shares continue to fall, the support pivots of $50.71 and $48.60 will be of interest.

Whirlpool Corporation manufactures and markets major home appliances. The Company's principal products include laundry appliances, refrigeration and room air conditioning equipment, cooking appliances, dishwashers, and mixers and other small household appliances. Whirlpool's products are sold worldwide

In the past 52 weeks, shares of Whirlpool have traded between a low of $51.91 and a high of $92.28 and are now at $51.45, which is -1% above that low price. In the last five trading sessions, the 50-day moving average (MA) has fallen 2.7% while the 200-day MA has slid 0.5%.

Whirlpool has overhead space with shares priced $51.45, or 53.5% below the average consensus analyst price target of $79.00. The stock should find initial resistance at its 50-day moving average (MA) of $66.91 and further resistance at its 200-day MA of $79.34.

http://www.fnno.com/story/pivot-alerts/331-next-support-level-whirlpool-whr-5071-pivot-alerts

You must see this video!

(Do not forget about Cynthia McKinney

in Benton Harbor, Michigan On Oct 8)







A few facts from the video:

Whirlpool has been meddling in [Benton Harbor] city politics for 30 years. For every tax break and advantage it can get. As the neighborhoods crumble...

With global sales of $18 Billion Whirpool paid 0% in 2010 federal taxes.

It received a refund of $64 Million.

Whirlpool has received 500 Million in tax breaks just since 2005.

Millions more in the past 3 decades.

Whirlpool took 19 Billion in federal stimulus funds. Then closed plants in the US. Including the plant in BH.

Rep. Fred Upton receives substantial campaign contributions from Whirlpool. And the Koch brothers.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed the Emergency Manager Law. And a budget that taxes pensions and cuts education funding in Michigan.

Then gave corporations (like Whirlpool) a $1.8 Billion tax break.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Report from the Berrien County courthouse
by Rev. Edward Pinkney

I have seen collusion between prosecutors, defense attys., and judges hundreds and hundreds of times in this courthouse.

Early this week I was eye-witness to a crime against humanity. Court-appointed atty. Scott Sanford told his client, Antonio Smith, to plead guilty "or else." Smith refused to plead guilty to a crime he did not commit. So, Sanford told Judge Dennis Wiley that Smith was late for court (he definitely was not late).

Wiley charged Smith with contempt of court; Smith had to put up $7500.00. He was taken to jail.

How long will this go on in Berrien? When will the people demand JUSTICE in their COURT?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Reverend Pinkney Speaks!
Emergency Financial Manager in Benton Harbor and the Austerity Age in Michigan
Saturday September 17, 2pm,
Northstar Center
106 Lathrop St. Lansing, MI 48912

Reverend Pinkney has long been on the front lines of the struggles for justice. In Benton Harbor he is part of confronting the politicians, corporations and court systems that deny Benton Harbor residents their rights and any sense of justice on a daily basis. Benton Harbor is the first place the controversial emergency financial manager (EFM)legislation has been put in place, removing even the illusion of democracy from local government by stripping elected officials of any decision making power and handing it to the EFM, who among other things, has the authority to void union contracts. Reverend Pinkney will speak about the latest attack on Benton Harbor and what it means for the rest of the state.

For more info: northstarcenter@gmail.com

Monday, September 05, 2011

Cynthia McKinney in Benton Harbor October 2011

The NAACP Benton Harbor 2nd Annual Freedom Fund Dinner invites you to meet with featured speaker Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Congresswoman and 2008 Presidential Candidate.

October 8, 2011 at 7pm
-- doors open 6pm




Lake Michigan College
2755 E. Napier Ave.
Benton Harbor, MI 


$50 dollars donation (includes dinner)
200 tickets total - reply soon!
Contact Rev. Edward Pinkney 269-925-0001, banco9342@sbcglobal.net

Support MWRO's friends at BANCO.
Make checks to:
NAACP-BH
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022



h/t MWRO weblog

Sunday, September 04, 2011

STOP THE TAKE OVER

In Benton Harbor we saw first hand how a giant corporation (Whirlpool) takes over a whole town. Boasts that labor costs are 32% below the state average and buys up the judicial and political structure to guarantee profits.

Once economic stagnation and globalization set in, Whirlpool developed Benton Harbor as profitable vacation land for the rich. We then saw their opposition to community leaders who stand with the poor. They are discredited, fired, or run from office. We saw democratic elections overturned, and Rev. Pinkney threatened with 20 yrs. in prison for encouraging others to exercise their democratic rights.

This is a part of a whole process in which the people are stripped of their right to freedom of expression. It is part of the movement toward corporate fascism in this country. We must stand up and fight for what is right.

The corporate take over of education and other public services began decades ago. We the people must take a stand.

Oct. 8, 2011 Cynthia McKinney - keynote speaker in Benton Harbor--for information contact Rev. Pinkney, 269-925-0001

Rev. Pinkney on blogtalkradio.com every Sunday, 5pm - eastern standard time or call in to listen, 347-994-3644 - Sept. 18 Cynthia McKinney will be the guest

Friday, September 02, 2011

Whirlpool spent $200,000 lobbying in 2Q

The Associated Press August 31, 2011

Whirlpool Corp. spent $200,000 in the second quarter to lobby federal officials on various issues, the same amount it spent a year earlier but more than the $180,000 it spent in the first quarter.

The company, which makes washing machines, refrigerators and other large appliances, lobbied on tax credits for energy-efficient appliances, proposed regulations intended to improve the energy efficiency of appliances, and free-trade agreements with Colombia and South Korea.

The company has previously said it supports free-trade agreements with South Korea and other countries, and it has praised the Department of Energy for efforts to ensure products advertised as energy-efficient actually are.

Whirlpool said it lobbied on an "anti-dumping" petition it filed against Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics. Whirlpool accuses the companies of selling refrigerators in the U.S. at prices below fair value. And it lobbied the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce about a Mexican regulation about labeling products with information on energy consumption. It also lobbied on market access to Saudi Arabia.

In addition to Congress, other agencies the company lobbied include the State Department, according to a disclosure report Whirlpool filed with the House clerk's office July 20.

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9PF8M6O2.htm

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Tax Free Parasite Whirlpool"

Received on this blog:

Do you want Whirlpool-Harbor Shores entities sucking up all of the Brownfield funding instead of addressing the contaminated sites near city public parks and in neighborhoods? Are these Brownfield elligible requests to further finance the tax free parasite Whirlpool? Please voice the communities need of what little funding remains. I have not looked up the property numbers but believe you already know who, what, where and why.

From the Legal Section, Herald Palladium, St. Joseph, Michigan

BENTON HARBOR

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON THE ADOPTION OF AN AMENDMENT TO THE DOWNTOWN AREA BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR THE CITY OF BENTON HARBOR PURSUANT TO AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF ACT 381 OF THE PUBLIC ACTS OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN OF 1996, AS AMENDED

PLEASE TAKE NOTE THAT a public hearing shall be held before the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority of the City of Benton Harbor on the 25th day of August 2011 at 4:00 pm in the Benton Harbor City Hall, 200 Wall Street. The purpose of the hearing is to consider whether to add Section XXXV to the City’s Downtown Area Brownfield Redevelopment Plan, which shall provide for the addition of eligible properties generally bordered by Main Street, 12th Street, Market Street and 10th Street having the following identification numbers:

11-51-0805-0048-02-0
11-51-0805-0048-01-1
11-51-0805-0047-00-7
11-51-0805-0046-00-1
11-51-0805-0045-01-2
11-51-0805-0044-01-6
11-51-0805-0045-02-1
11-51-0805-0042-00-5
11-51-0805-0052-00-1
11-51-0805-0058-01-7
11-51-0805-0063-00-2
11-51-0805-0051-00-4
11-51-0805-0050-00-8
11-51-0805-0049-00-0

All information related to the Plan and the proposed amendment is available for public inspection at the office of the City’s brownfield redevelopment advisor, Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc., 115-A West Main Street, Benton Harbor, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. Any aspect of the proposed amendment may be discussed at the public hearing and all interested persons will be given an opportunity to be heard.

Kimberly Thompson, Acting City Clerk
August 10, 2011
HP/adv. August 10 & 11, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Whirlpool Corporation:

--posted $18.4 BILLION in revenue during 2010

--employs 67,000 around the world (how many in the US and how many in countries where environmental and labor laws are weak to non-existent?)

--just one example of WP's loyalty to American people and their economic survival: caused Fort Smith, Arkansas employment to drop from 4,600 (2006) to 1,000 (today)


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Whirlpool employee: More job cuts coming
The City Wire staff, 08/11/2011

Whirlpool employee Fred Denny and an unnamed source say the company will lay off about 300 people by January at its Fort Smith refrigeration plant with plans to close the large plant by July.

Officials with Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool Corp. confirmed in late July the loss of 65 jobs at the plant. The City Wire estimates that employment at the plant is about 950 hourly workers and about 85 salaried workers.

Fred Denny, an employee at Whirlpool’s Fort Smith plant for 34 years, told The City Wire that employees in the quality control section and tube shop were told Thursday (Aug. 11) that about 40 salaried workers would be cut by January — 25 in October and 15 in January — and 200-250 hourly jobs would be cut in January.

More alarming is that Denny said the employees were told the plant would likely shut down by July.

“No, not after this. Not after today,” Denny, 62, said when asked if he would be surprised if the plant closed. “I’ve been expecting this. We’ve been hearing rumors about this for months.”

A second source independently confirmed the numbers Denny provided, to include information that the plant will cut production to just 550 refrigerators a day by January.

“They are getting ready with that (job cuts) in January because they have to give employees six months notice that they are going to close the plant. This way, they can run it and make a few products for a few months and then they don’t have to give severance pay when they close,” Denny explained.

Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders, a former Whirlpool employee, said based on what he has been told about production changes the company is not planning to close by July.

“I don’t think that’s true. You might want to talk to them (Whirlpool officials) before you go with your story,” Sanders said late Thursday.

Whirlpool spokeswoman Kristine Vernier did not comment on speculation about a plant closure, but did provide this statement late Thursday: “As part of our annual planning process, Whirlpool Corporation communicated internally today at Fort Smith that projected demand for side-by-side refrigerators continues to decline. It was further communicated that this reduced volume, along with recent softening of the economy, could possibly result in layoffs of up to 250 hourly and 20 salaried employees at this location in the coming year. While no decisions have been finalized we understand how difficult this information is during these uncertain times and strive to share information with our employees as we continue the planning process.”

Whirlpool noted in its second quarter earnings report that the company’s U.S. appliance shipments would decline by 1%-2% in 2011. The previous guidance was that U.S. shipments in 2011 would increase by as much as 3%.

And in a July 27 statement, Vernier said the company was cutting production in Fort Smith because U.S. appliance demand “is at recessionary levels.”

Primarily the result of the housing-sector induced national recession, Benton Harbor, Mich.-based Whirlpool made production cuts and layoffs causing employment in Fort Smith to drop from about 4,600 in early 2006 to less than around 1,100 today. In 2010, the company cut about 850 jobs at its Fort Smith operation, which left the employee count at 1,020 hourly and 110 salaried workers at the end of November.

The global appliance maker employs about 67,000 around the world and posted $18.4 billion in revenue during 2010.

http://www.thecitywire.com/?q=node/17229