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MDC announces CFO departure

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Denver-based home builder MDC Holdings announced SVP and CFO Christopher Anderson has concluded his employment, effective Nov. 5.

The company, which builds homes under the name Richmond American Homes, said Anderson will provide consulting services to the company for 90 days.

The company did not announce a replacement.

“For the past two and a half years, Chris has been an integral part of our team,” said Larry Mizel, MDC’s chairman and CEO. “As a leader in the company, Chris’ ability to identify and solve key business issues has led to long-lasting improvements to our operations. As the leader of the finance organization, he has been an excellent steward of our investment grade balance sheet and has consistently demonstrated strong financial integrity. We regret seeing him go and wish him well.”

“I am honored to have had the opportunity to spend the past few years with MDC,” Anderson said. “I am grateful to senior management, the board of directors and the investment community for their support during my tenure, and I will do all that I can to ensure a smooth transition of my responsibilities over the next several months.”

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Slowdown predicted by cement industry economist

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The latest economic forecast from the Portland Cement Association (PCA) indicates no growth in cement consumption for the rest of 2010, followed by a small increase next year.

The Skokie, Ill., trade association said that the “economic momentum that was gathering steam early in the year has dissipated to a large extent,” resulting in a predicted 0.3% rise in cement consumption in 2010. Next year the consumption of cement should grow by 1.4%, the organization said, with a 4% increase expected in 2012. A period of sustained growth is forecasted for 2013 and beyond.

“Unfortunately, future gains in construction activity are dictated by labor conditions today,” said Edward Sullivan, PCA’s chief economist. “Slow job growth leads to slower home purchases and start activity. It undermines the speed at which state deficits can heal impacting public construction, and implies low occupancy rates for the non-residential market.”

While small percentage gains could characterize each of these segments during the next two years, substantive cement consumption volume gains are unlikely to materialize until 2013, the PCA said. This implies a phase of cement consumption reflecting only modest growth for the near term.

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Blagojevich witness arrested for shoplifting

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Awitness in the trial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has been arrested for shoplifting at a Home Depot store, according to articles in the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.

Rajinder Bedi, 58, was allegedly seen by employees at the North Lincoln Home Depot store in Chicago concealing items valued at $166. Given the total value of the merchandise, Bedi may be charged with felony retail theft, which has a $150 threshold.

Bedi, who once held the position of managing director of the state’s Office of Trade and Investment in Blagojevich’s administration, testified under immunity in July about the ex-governor’s alleged efforts to sell President Obama’s former Senate seat.

Prosecutors said Bedi met with Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and a major Jackson fundraiser, Raghuveer Nayak, at a Chicago restaurant. At the meeting, Nayak promised to raise $1 million for Blagojevich if he appointed Jackson to the Senate seat, prosecutors said.

Blagojevich was convicted of lying to the FBI last summer, but the jury deadlocked on other counts. His retrial is scheduled to start next year.

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