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Jobs Watch: Something's burning in Burns
Ben Jacklet
Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Something was burning in Burns, and it smelled awful. Turns out the town dump was on fire: Black smoke was spewing forth from a privately operated landfill loaded with treated wood, plastics and fiberglass from the RV manufacturing plant.

This was the last thing I wanted to breathe in on a sweet morning last Thurdsay in Harney County, where fewer than 8,000 people populate 10,000 square miles of high desert and pine forest. You expect dust storms, sagebrush, weather-beaten pickup trucks, barbed wire, dried up lakes, bullet holes in the road signs. But burning fiberglass?

The locals weren’t too happy about it, either. The smell served as an acrid reminder of the latest industry to leave town. Bankrupt Monaco Coach, which employed 6,500 people as recently as 2006, was in the last stages of shutting down its local operation, with its final day of operations set for Friday. The closure of the Monaco plant leaves Harney County with basically no manufacturing jobs. That’s a harsh reality to accept in a town that once had one of the busiest lumber mills in the world.

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Mercy for cement plant?
High Five
Friday, August 21, 2009

Oregon cement plant hopes to be spared from an EPA rule that targets mercury polluters.

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Gathering wool
August 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tactics_Pendleton_1Set against the dry blue sky and bleached hills on the outskirts of town, the 100-year-old Pendleton Woolen Mills is an icon to the town and a brand that is the essence of Americana. But to its president, it’s also something more visceral.

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Insitu growth soars
High Five
Friday, July 10, 2009

A remote-aircraft manufacturer in Washington experiences soaring growth.

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Keeping paint out of landfills
High Five
Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Oregon is gearing up to launch the first statewide paint recycling program in the nation.

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