Business briefs: West Penn Power steps up tree trimming program
April 19, 2017 12:00 AM
West Penn Power steps up $40 million tree trimming program
West Penn Power Co. has stepped up efforts to clear trees and other vegetation from near its power lines serving roughly 720,000 customers across a 24-county territory in southwestern Pennsylvania. The Greensburg electric utility plans to spend $40 million in 2017 to trim nearly 5,000 miles of circuit miles. The company said tree contractors have already trimmed more than 1,000 miles of power lines, with an additional 3,900 miles to be completed by year end. West Penn Power will spend about $7 million to remove more than 56,000 ash trees that are infected with the emerald ash borer. The company will be in the following Allegheny County communities in upcoming months: Bethel Park, Cheswick, Natrona Heights, Peters, Springdale and Upper St. Clair.
Kraft Heinz appeases shareholder group
Kraft Heinz, which is scheduled to hold its annual shareholders meeting Wednesday, has satisfied at least one group pushing for more information on the company’s sustainability efforts. In a regulatory filing this week, the company said a proposal submitted by the Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order, on behalf of three organizations, has been withdrawn. In March, Kraft Heinz promised an expanded commitment to sustainability targets on energy and sourcing issues, as well as social concerns such as global hunger. At the time, a company spokesman said the overall commitments represent a $200 million investment. Two other shareholder proposals had also been submitted — one focused on pushing Kraft Heinz to do more with recyclable packaging and another seeking a report looking at the company’s supply chain impact on deforestation.
Subaru recalls over 33K cars to fix engine stalling problem
Subaru is recalling more than 33,000 compact cars in the U.S. because a fuel problem can make the engines stall without warning. The recall covers Impreza cars from the 2017 model year. Subaru says in documents filed with the government that a winter blend of fuel can turn to vapor in the fuel line, causing the engine to run rough and stall. Drivers may not be able to immediately restart the cars, increasing the risk of a crash. The company began investigating in January after getting several reports of stalling. No crashes or injuries have been reported. Dealers will update the engine control software so the engine cooling fan comes on at a lower temperature. The company has not yet posted a date for the recall to begin.
Justices could limit recovery in securities fraud cases
The Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed willing to make it tougher for the government to recover ill-gotten gains from people convicted of securities fraud. Most of the justices — including newly confirmed Justice Neil Gorsuch — suggested during arguments that such recoveries are subject to a strict five-year statute of limitations.That could prevent the Securities and Exchange Commission from collecting huge amounts of money in many cases where the alleged fraud goes back years or decades before officials bring charges. The agency collected more than $4 billion in those so-called “disgorgement” actions and other penalties in the 2016 fiscal year. The high court is deciding whether venture capitalist Charles Kokesh must return $35 million from investor funds he used to pay himself and others at his New Mexico-based operation from 1995 to 2006. But justices across ideological lines seemed skeptical of the distinction. A ruling is expected by June.
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