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Skilling reports to federal prison

WASECA, Minn. — Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling reported to federal prison on Wednesday to begin serving his 24-year sentence for fraud and other crimes in the collapse of the former energy giant.

Even if Skilling earns a few years off for good behavior and for participation in an alcohol treatment program at the Federal Correctional Institution in Waseca, Skilling, 53, will be an old man at the end of his 24-year, four-month prison term. That’s more than twice as long as the sentence of any other Enron executive.

A federal judge on Tuesday denied Skilling’s request to remain free on bond pending his appeal.


Potlatch boosting Idaho harvests

Potlatch Corp. will boost its Idaho tree harvests by 25 percent over the next several years, culling the forest of what company officials call “over mature” trees.

Some of the trees on Potlatch’s 670,000 acres are 60 years old or more and are starting to lose their vigor, Potlatch CEO Mike Covey told analysts during a conference call. As a result, their value as a commercial commodity is diminishing, he said.

Potlatch also plans to ramp up harvests on its Arkansas forestland, which also has a significant portion of older trees, Covey said.


HollisterStier inks development deal

Spokane-based HollisterStier Laboratories has signed a deal with a New Jersey company to develop pharmaceutical injectibles for hospitals and specialty medical users.

The new contract for manufacturing services is with GeneraMedix Inc., a Liberty Corner, N.J. company that specializes in injectable generic products.

Terms of the deal, announced Wednesday, were not disclosed.

One goal is to develop manufacturing processes using HollisterStier’s compounding and fast-freezing technology so GeneraMedix can meet new-project timelines, Ronald F. Quadrel, the firm’s president and CEO, said in a press release.


Crescent Mine sold to B.C. firm

The Crescent Mine was sold to a Canadian company this week for $650,000.

Strategic Nevada Resources has high hopes for the historic silver mine near Kellogg, said Neil Linder, company president.Geologists will explore the mine next summer, in anticipation of reopening it at some point in the future.

Higher silver prices made the property attractive to the company, Linder said. Silver has risen about 70 percent in the last year. It was trading at $13.74 per ounce on Wednesday.

The Crescent Mine is located in Shoshone County, near the closed Bunker Hill Mine. It produced about 25 million ounces of silver between 1917 and 1981.

Strategic Nevada Resources, of Vancouver, B.C., was the sole bidder for the mine, which was sold at an auction this week by Shoshone County commissioners. The county acquired the mine years ago for back taxes.