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Mike Senske selected chairman of GSI board

Thu., Oct. 3, 2013

Michael Senske, president and CEO of manufacturing company Pearson Packaging Systems, is the new chairman of Greater Spokane Incorporated’s board of trustees. His one-year term started this week.

Linda Elkin, Spokane region president of U.S. Bank, was selected chair-elect and will be begin her term as chairwoman of the business group in 2014.

The board’s main focus for the next several months will be replacing Greater Spokane Incorporated CEO Rich Hadley, who will retire in April after serving in that job for 20 years.

GSI was formerly called the Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Video of fire in Tesla singes stock price

SEATTLE – Shares of electric car company Tesla sank more than 6 percent Wednesday after an Internet video showed flames spewing from one of the company’s vehicles near Seattle.

Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. fell $12.05 to $180.95 – the stock’s biggest one-day decline since July 16.

The incident happened Tuesday after 8 a.m. as the driver was traveling southbound on state Route 167 through Kent, said Trooper Chris Webb of the Washington State Patrol. The driver stated that he believed he had struck some metal debris on the freeway, so he exited the highway and the vehicle became disabled.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Tesla said the fire was caused by “substantial damage” to the car when the driver hit a large metal object in the road. The flames, the company said, were contained to the front of the $70,000 vehicle due to its design and construction.

Defense contractor warns of furloughs

HARTFORD, Conn. – United Technologies Corp. says it may furlough more than 5,000 workers if the U.S. government shutdown continues into next month.

The company said Wednesday that its Sikorsky division, which makes Black Hawk helicopters, would be hit first. It expects nearly 2,000 employees, including those employed at facilities in Connecticut, Florida and Alabama, will be furloughed on Monday.

The Hartford, Conn.-based manufacturer said it would halt some defense manufacturing because government inspectors themselves have been furloughed. That leaves the company without the necessary federal approvals to make military products.

If the shutdown continues through next week, the furloughs would extend to its Pratt & Whitney and UTC Aerospace Systems division, bringing the total number of employees on hold up to 4,000. That number could exceed 5,000 if the shutdown stretches into next month.

Beanie Babies creator admits tax evasion

CHICAGO – The billionaire who created Beanie Babies broke down crying in court Wednesday as he pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion for hiding $25 million in income in secret Swiss bank accounts.

H. Ty Warner, 69, also apologized as he stood before a federal judge in Chicago.

The toymaker’s 18-page plea deal says guidelines call for a prison term of around four years. It also requires he pay a $53 million civil penalty.

Beanie Babies first appeared in the ’90s. An explosion of sales made Warner rich; Forbes recently put his net worth at $2.6 billion.

Warner admitted he evaded paying $5 million in taxes due to the IRS over an 11-year period by setting up the secret accounts. At one point, he was concealing as much as $107 million, prosecutors said.


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