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Amtrak postpones fare increases

Compiled from staff and wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Amtrak said Thursday it is postponing its planned fare increases to conclude additional briefings with public officials and other groups.

The fare increases were set to go into effect Sept. 20. No new date for the increases has been set.

Amtrak announced last week it was planning a fare increase in part to recover escalating fuel costs. The planned increase would have raised fares nationally by $3, with the Northeast Corridor seeing fares go up $4. Northeast Corridor commuters holding monthly rail passes were expecting a fare increase of about 50 percent.

The planned fare increases will come at a time when fiscally strapped Amtrak’s high-speed Acela trains are operating at less than 100 percent. The trains were pulled out of operation in April after cracks in many of the trains’ brake discs were discovered.

Limited Acela service resumed in July. Eighteen of Acela’s 20-train fleet have been equipped with new brake discs, made from a different design. The cause of the brake problem has still not been determined.

Idaho mine featured in football movie

Footage from the historic Golden Chest Mine in Murray, Idaho, will be featured in an NFL Film Presents production airing later this month.

“It’s a human interest story about the Minnesota Vikings,” said Fred Brackebusch, mine operator. “It’s something along the lines that it takes persistence and perseverance to make it in football and mining, as well as in life.”

“The Golden Boys of Minnesota” will air at 3:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sept. 26 on ESPN; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 on ESPN-2; and 6 p.m. Sept. 29 on the NFL Network. (All times are Eastern Daylight Time.)

In the 1970s, Vikings team members bought an interest in the Golden Chest. Former tight end John Beasley appears in the film, along with teammates Bob Berry, Jim Marshall and Bob Lurtsema.

The players were filmed in the mine. The film crew captured footage during the detonation of explosives by leaving a camera underground.

Mining operations ceased at the Golden Chest in the 1890s. Brackebusch’s firm, New Jersey Mining Co. of Kellogg, recently started mining again.

The company leases the Golden Chest from Metaline Contact Mines, a penny stock owned partly by the Vikings players.

The Golden Chest’s brief moment in the spotlight is good exposure for his company, Brackebusch said.

“It’s free publicity,” he said. “It certainly doesn’t hurt us.”

CdA Mines sells stock to pay for for silver

Coeur d’Alene Mines raised $36 million through a stock sale to finance a recent purchase in Australia.

The company is buying 10 years worth of silver production at the Broken Hill Mine in New South Wales. The sale includes 24.5 million ounces of silver reserves. Broken Hill’s owner, Perilya Ltd., will oversee production.

Coeur d’Alene Mines sold 9.9 million shares of its common stock, for net proceeds of $36 million.

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