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Prairie dog wars outside HD

BY Brae Canlen

Animal lovers and shopping mall owners are waging a stealth battle over a prairie dog colony next to a Home Depot store in Hutchinson, Kan. According to an article in the Hutch News, the colony of burrowing rodents, which has existed next to the store for years, recently began expanding into open land south of the mall. So the property management has been placing sandbags on top of the new holes for several weeks. 

But the sandbags keep disappearing. Mall security speculated that citizens have been removing them to open up the holes. At least two people have been caught doing so by mall security and asked to leave the property, the article reported.

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Market Recap: RISI Crow’s Construction Materials Cost Index

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A price index of lumber and panels used in actual construction for Sept. 2, 2011

*Western – regional species perimeter foundation; Southern – regional species slab construction.

Crow’s Market Recap — A condensed recap of the market conditions for the major North American softwood lumber and panel products as reported in Crow’s Weekly Market Report. 

Lumber: Mirroring the week prior, demand for SPF lumber increased at midweek, due in part to a strong gain in Wednesday’s lumber futures. Mills reported selling more 2×6 #2&Btr than the prior week, when 2×4 dominated sales. Early perceptions that some Southern Pine #2 prices were nearing a bottom were refuted later in the week, as discounts remained plentiful. In a historical perspective, some prices were near or at levels that might seem like a bottom, but availability was still plentiful and demand modest. Price decreases in the Coastal species lumber market were less apparent early than in previous weeks. Heightened demand as the week progressed firmed much of the lingering softness, leaving most prices close to levels reported the previous week. After a slow start, fill-in buying at the end of the week helped firm up the Inland species lumber markets. Sales of 4-in. Sterling Idaho White Pine were reported from $725 up to $740, depending on tally. Eastern White Pine producers reported improved sales to home centers, although prices remained flat. Radiata Pine activity has quieted after a brief uptick in activity. Prices are flat, with the exception of 5/4 Shop, which seems to be "backing up a bit." Persistent production cutbacks continued to bring supplies in balance with minimal demand, but Western Red Cedar prices overall were flat with a tendency toward softness.

Panels: OSB markets were generally weak, and prices in some regions came off. Overall activity was quiet. Producers were able to sell partway through the short holiday week, and some were sold out into the week of Sept. 12. Steady sales activity and overall price strength in the Southern Pine plywood market brought about what many traders deemed "the best market of the year." Not only were rated sheathing prices edged higher, sanded panel and underlayment prices remained firm or were increased modestly. Moderate trading, notably less than the Southern Pine plywood market, left Western Fir plywood prices near levels posted the prior week. A perception that the Northeast may need greater volumes to shore up damage to homes before the winter sets in did exist. Order files into the week of Sept. 26 or Oct. 3 kept producers firmly in control of the Canadian plywood market. Secondaries continued to take positions and sell off earlier purchases at replacement prices. Particleboard and MDF producers tried to keep production in line with limited demand while looking forward to what they hope will be improved consumption in September.

For more on RISI, click here.

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Lowe’s plans special events for Sanford, N.C., reopening

BY HBSDealer Staff

Lowe’s of Sanford, N.C., which was devastated by a tornado on April 16, is planning a special reopening ceremony Thursday, Sept. 8.

Joining local and corporate officials at the site will be Nascar driver Jimmie Johnson, gospel music singer and radio host Yolanda Adams and music legends Chairmen of the Board.

Also on hand will be Mike Hollowell, the store manager who was credited for his clear leadership during the disaster. 

“As we look to reopen the doors of our Sanford store, this day is possible because of the dedication of our employees and the support Lowe’s neighbors in Sanford and nationwide have shown us during the past 145 days,” said Hollowell, in a prepared statement. “Communities across the country are rebuilding post-disaster, and the Sanford grand reopening offers a message of resilience, strength and perseverance for all those affected by natural disasters nationwide.”

The store is described as a 103,000-sq.-ft. store with a 34,000-sq.-ft. garden center.

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