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New French prime minister to focus on saving factory jobs

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LE COUDRAY-MONTCEAUX, FRANCE —
France’s new prime minister said Saturday his government will focus on keeping French manufacturing jobs and bringing others back to France from lower-wage countries as it tries to dig the country out of deep recession.

Prime Minister Jean Castex made the announcement on his first outing in his new job, to a semiconductor factory near Paris that received extensive government aid to withstand the coronavirus lockdown in France.

He didn’t lay out how his government would save jobs, but called for investment in training and new production tools. Castex and President Emmanuel Macron are expected to announce the makeup of the new Cabinet in the coming days.

Its goal will be to work out how “to ensure the return of jobs and the sustainable maintenance of industrial jobs exposed to global competition,” Castex told reporters at the X-FAB factory in Le Coudray-Montceaux south of Paris.

The government sees the factory, which makes semiconductors used in cars, phones and other equipment, as an example of European co-operation and innovation.

Before being named prime minister Friday, Castex co-ordinated France’s strategy for gradually easing lockdown measures and reviving economic activity.

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Wood County Schools considering consolidations over next decade | News, Sports, Jobs

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By TYLER BENNETT

Staff Reporter

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Board of Education had the first of two 2020-2030 Comprehensive Education Facilities Plan meetings on Tuesday and announced that Wood County Schools will be going from 24 schools to 20 schools within that 10-year timeframe.

Starting in 2021, the schools of Fairplains/Franklin will be combined at an estimated cost of $16.3 million, with the same for Vienna/Neale Elementary at a cost of nearly $21 million.

Van Devender Middle School will be closed and students will have the choice between Jackson and Hamilton middle schools. That could happen in 2025 at the earliest, officials said.

And the final consolidation will be between Criss/Emerson Elementary schools in 2027 for about $20 million.

A new Lubeck Elementary school will be built and will move south on W.Va. 68 starting in 2022. There will also be renovations and additions to Madison Elementary to accommodate the change in the district, officials said.

The full story will appear in the Wednesday edition of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel.


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Second person dies after Thursday shooting in Alpena | News, Sports, Jobs

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News Photo by Steve Schulwitz
A bouquet of flowers sits outside a home where police responded to a report of gunshots on Thursday night. When police arrived, they discovered one person dead and another badly wounded. Police have not released the names of the individuals or other details about the event.

ALPENA — A second person has died in connection with a shooting at a home on Alpena’s north side last week, The News has confirmed.

Police have released few details about what happened at a home at the corner of Clark Street and Ford Avenue where police responded to a report of shots fired Thursday evening and found one person dead and another seriously injured. Police, who are still investigating the incident, have not identified the people involved or even confirmed the injuries were caused by gunshots.

Alpena Police Chief Joel Jett did not respond to a message seeking comment today.

However, The News has confirmed with multiple sources, none of whom were willing to speak on the record, that 21-year old Meagan Soik was found shot dead at the home last week and that 26-year-old Eli Mata was seriously injured. Mata was transported to the MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena and then airlifted out of town for care, but died from his injuries this weekend.

Police have said there is no threat to the community, as the shooting was an isolated incident.

The News normally does not use unidentified sources but decided to do so in this case because the information could not otherwise be reported, the sources were vetted by a News editor, and because of the great public interest in the case.

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Missouri Walnut announces plan to cut 60 jobs – News – Devils Lake Journal – Devils Lake, ND

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Missouri Walnut LLC, Neosho, announced plans to trim 60 jobs from their local operation by mid to late December.

In a statement issued by the company, Missouri Walnut explains the action:

“In 2018 and 2019 Missouri Walnut Group invested $50 million to automate our operations.  In 2020 we have begun to see those efficiencies finally take hold and we are on pace to have a record year and we expect this growth to bring a  new record in 2021.  These investments come in our finishing operations as we continue to build our world-wide reputation for quality.  With the increased use of technology and automation we have created a need for higher skilled and higher paid workers while requiring fewer lower skilled workers.

At the same time, though, we have made the difficult decision to close our log sawing operations effective at the end of December, 2020.  The log sawing operation has been an integral part of our success over the years but our board has determined that we need to focus on our core competencies.  This will also allow us to enhance our strong relationships with our key suppliers.

We appreciate your support and look forward to continuing our wonderful relationship.”

The 60 jobs are approximately one third of the total workforce.

Missouri Walnut LLC is located at 11417 Oak Road, Neosho.

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