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Potlatch to close Ark. mill

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Potlatch Corp., a harvester of FSC-certified timber and maker of forest products, has announced the closing of its Prescott, Ark.-based lumber mill. The move will affect 182 jobs.

The company cited lower demand due to the downturn in the housing market, which has resulted in lower overall prices for timber. The plant is expected to close in May.

Earlier this year, the company noted it had taken, “Market-related downtime at the company’s two Arkansas mills resulted in a reduction of 18 million board feet of southern yellow pine production and an increase in conversion costs during the quarter.”

Potlatch operates as a real estate investment trust that owns and manages timberlands in Arkansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Idaho.

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Dallas set to approve green building standards

BY HBSDEALER Staff

The Dallas City Council is set to approve a new ordinance that will place new green building standards in the city in two phases, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The ordinance’s first phase would go into effect Oct. 1, 2009. Under the law, builders would have to create structures (under 50,000 square feet) that use 15 percent less energy and 20 percent less water than current Dallas codes. Roofs must also meet energy efficiency guidelines. Larger projects “will face similar, but less stringent requirements,” according to the report.

By Oct. 1, 2011, the ordinance requires that all new construction in Dallas be approved under LEED standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council or commensurate programs, such as the local Green Built North Texas program.

The city council has yet to vote on the matter, pending a comment period set aside for developers who wish to address the issue.

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Former Sears CEO to get paid through 2010

BY HBSDEALER Staff

In a proxy statement filed by Sears Holdings, the company said it will pay its former CEO his $1 million base salary annually through March 24, 2010.

Sears Holdings announced in January that president and CEO Aylwin B. Lewis would step down from his role. Lewis also stepped down from the Sears Holdings board of directors.

Lewis has been replaced in the interim by W. Bruce Johnson, who currently serves as executive vp – supply chain and operations. He will receive an increased salary of $900,000, up from $745,224 last year, according to the statement. Sears Holdings is searching for a new CEO, during a time the company is planning a restructuring of it corporate structure.

The Chicago-based parent of Kmart and Sears stores has been struggling of late, with fourth-quarter earnings down 47.5 percent year-over-year and sales down 6.8 percent.

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