Thompson trial hearing begins
LOS ANGELES-A preliminary hearing to see if Michael Goodwin should be tried for the murders of Mickey and Trudy Thompson began Oct. 4 in Pasadena Superior Court.
The hearing, which includes testimony from various witnesses, is expected to last about one week before Judge Teri Schwartz, who will decide at the conclusion if there is enough evidence for a trial, according to Jane Robison, press secretary for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.
Mr. Goodwin, a former business partner of Mr. Thompson's and longtime suspect in the murders, was arrested and has been held in custody since December 2001. He has been charged with murder, special circumstances of lying in wait and multiple homicides.
NHTSA finds no defect in Steeltex
WASHINGTON-For the third straight time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found no defect trend in Firestone Steeltex tires.
Two of the investigations-including this one-were instigated by Joseph L. Lisoni, a Pasadena, Calif., plaintiffs' attorney who alleges that all Steeltex tires made since 1995 are inherently defective. NHTSA, however, found the information Mr. Lisoni submitted was repetitive and mostly erroneous.
In a press release, Bridgestone/Firestone (BFS) said it was ``pleased but not surprised'' by the agency's findings and that this latest ruling ``should once again put to rest any and all questions that have been raised about the Steeltex tires, even for Mr. Lisoni.''
Mr. Lisoni, however, said he would refile his petition with NHTSA in six months and continue to seek certification of his class-action lawsuit against Nashville, Tenn.-based BFS. The lawyer is appealing the denial of class-action certification that an Indio, Calif., judge issued last March in the case.
Pirelli picks logistics firm
ROME, Ga.-Pirelli Tire North America Inc. has selected logistics company Kuehne+Nagel International A.G. to optimize its warehousing and distribution network.
Rome-based Pirelli said it chose the firm as part of its ``Logistics and Customer Care Action Plan,'' designed to enhance its service. Kuehne+Nagel will manage inbound receipt, storage and distribution of Pirelli tires to customers in the U.S.
Goodyear to add 3 TripleTred sizes
AKRON-Goodyear will add three sizes to its Assurance TripleTred all-season tire in October, giving the line 16 total sizes, ranging from 14- to 16-inch rim diameters.
The new sizes-P225/50R16, P185/70R14 and P205/55R16-will fit vehicles such as the Oldsmobile Alero, Pontiac Grand Am, Chrysler Sebring, Mitsubishi Galant and Nissan Altima.
Specialty Tires to invest $1 mil
INDIANA, Pa.-Specialty Tires of America Inc. plans to invest about $1 million in equipment to produce radial specialty tires at its Indiana plant by mid-2005.
Eugene Baker, general manager of sales for the specialty tire maker, said the move is in response to customer needs. Initial equipment will be added in January with most of the equipment online by the second quarter. The radial tires will cover various segments, including drag racing tires.
With the investment, Specialty Tires will produce about 100,000 radial tires annually at the plant, which formerly only manufactured bias-ply tires. Specialty Tires' plant in Unicoi, Tenn., also produces radial tires.
NLRB dismisses USWA charges
MAYFIELD, Ky.-The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has dismissed unfair labor practice charges brought by the United Steelworkers of America against Continental Tire North America (CTNA) Inc. concerning Conti's decision to suspend tire production at its Mayfield plant.
``As we have repeatedly said, the company's decision to suspend tire production in Mayfield was based upon the high cost of producing tires at the plant,'' said Nick Fletcher, Conti's vice president of human resources. ``The NLRB's decision confirms that CTNA took this action for legitimate, business-related reasons.''
Conti announced June 29 that it would suspend tire production indefinitely at the plant, by year-end at the latest.
On July 9, the union filed unfair labor practice charges, alleging that Conti announced the closure ``for discriminatory purposes,'' Conti said. The tire maker said the union also filed similar charges in another region of the NLRB, charging the suspension was announced to ``intimidate employees.''