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Menards to add propane-refilling stations

BY Brae Canlen

In a pilot program at 37 stores, Menards will open a series of propane-fueling stations designed for propane-powered vehicles and cylinders used on gas grills and recreational vehicles. The program is a partnership with CleanFUEL USA, a leading supplier of propane autogas infrastructure and engine systems.

The home improvement retailer will conduct the pilot at Menards locations throughout Illinois, as well as its Eau Claire West store in Wisconsin. 

The new autogas fueling stations are a collaborative effort between CleanFUEL USA and Ferrellgas, a nationwide propane provider. CleanFUEL USA provided the dispenser and 1,000-gallon tanks, and Ferrellgas provided installation services and propane for each location. 

The autogas station project was funded through a $12 million grant from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Texas State Technical College (TSTC) serves as the lead grantee of the funds, which support the development of a national propane Autogas refueling network, incentives to convert school buses and other fleet vehicles to alternative fuels, and training for green jobs. 

In addition to installing the autogas fueling stations, Menards partnered with Icom North America to convert 140 new Ford pick-up trucks to propane autogas for store-operation use at the 37 Menards test locations. The Icom system allows the propane vehicle to enjoy similar drive-ability and performance to gasoline with reduced emissions and large fuel-cost savings. These same stores will also be receiving propane-powered forklifts to replace their existing diesel-powered forklifts, with the changeover already taking place at Eau Claire West. Menards also plans to steadily convert its store operation vehicles from gasoline and diesel to propane at other store locations, adding propane autogas fueling stations in the process.

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Suspected shoplifter came right from court hearing

BY Brae Canlen

A woman arrested for shoplifting from a Home Depot in Tewksbury, Mass., spent the morning in court being arraigned on burglary charges, according to an article in the Tewksbury Patch.

Erica Jane Ruane, 25, was arrested by Tewksbury Police on the night of Dec. 4 for breaking into a home, along with two accomplices, earlier that day.

On Dec. 5, Raune was arraigned in Lowell District Court and released pending her next court date. Later that same day, she and another woman were arrested at a Home Depot for allegedly stealing  merchandise worth more than $100 in value.

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Thomas Creek expands wood countertop line

BY Ken Clark

Omaha, Neb.-based Thomas Creek Wood Countertops introduced its custom wood countertop line to service home centers, cabinet dealers and manufacturers nationwide.    

Countertops are available in multiple thicknesses, species and configurations, including both end-grain and edge-grain. Hundreds of possible combinations are available, the company said.

A sample and display program has been developed to support customers’ specific needs, and supporting literature and product details are available on the company’s website.    

In addition to countertops, Thomas Creek manufactures a variety of components for kitchen and bath cabinet manufacturers at its facility in Wood Lake, Minn.     

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