Most Clicked OPEI SmartBrief Stories


1. Briggs & Stratton buys Billy Goat for $26M

OPEI SmartBrief | May 21, 2015

Briggs & Stratton has purchased Billy Goat Industries, a maker of specialty turf equipment, for about $26 million. Billy Goat produces professional-grade mowers, aerators, power rakes, sod cutters and other equipment. The purchase will help Briggs & Stratton "further our strategic initiative of focusing on higher-margin commercial products," said Chairman Todd Teske. The Kansas City Star (Mo.) (05/20)


2. Consumer Reports praises mowers from Honda, Snapper

OPEI SmartBrief | May 27, 2015

Consumer Reports recently tested more than 100 walk-behind lawn mowers, finding models from Snapper and Honda that offer good performance and control. A $280 single-speed, self-propelled mower from Snapper received high marks for mulching and side discharge. A $700 variable-speed mower from Honda performed well in bagging, mulching and side-discharge modes, while a less expensive Honda model received praise for ease of handling. KTHV-TV (Little Rock, Ark.) (05/26)


3. Toro credits new mowers, good weather for Q2 growth

OPEI SmartBrief | May 22, 2015

Toro reported solid earnings for the second quarter with an improvement of 8% or $93.8 million. CEO Michael Hoffman said good spring weather and a new line of mowers contributed to better-than-expected sales in its professional and residential divisions. The new mowers included new zero-turn riding mowers, a golf fairway mower and an all-wheel-drive walk power-mower. Looking ahead, Toro's acquisition of Boss snowplows should raise fourth-quarter and full-year results, Hoffman said. Star-Tribune (Casper, Wyo.) (tiered subscription model) (05/21)


4. 1950's pickup pays homage to John Deere

OPEI SmartBrief | May 26, 2015

USA Today (05/23)


5. Chainsaw challenge in Canada shows power of Stihl, Husky saws

OPEI SmartBrief | May 26, 2015

The annual chainsaw challenge in Marlbank, Ontario, Canada, brought together men and women to compete in 23 classes using Stihl and Husky chainsaws. The contests included obstacles, chair carving and underhand chopping. The competition's new "cookie stacking" contest involved stacking wooden pieces using a running chain saw blade. Metroland Durham Region Media Group (Ontario) (05/25)


6. Study: New overtime rules would cost companies, employees

OPEI SmartBrief | May 22, 2015

A plan by the Obama administration to reclassify more employees as workers subject to overtime-pay rules would cost companies as much as $874 million and block advancement opportunities for employees, a study by the National Retail Federation says. The Hill (05/19)


7. Selecting plants, hardscaping for a backyard pool

OPEI SmartBrief | May 26, 2015

There are numerous options for hardscaping and plants around the edge of a pool. The use of nonslip surfaces such as brick, stamped concrete or textured composite decking help keep pool-goers safe. Plants near the pool should be sun-tolerant and placed so they don't drop debris into the water. It can also be beneficial to put a stone or mulch barrier between the lawn and pool area. The Shelton Herald (Conn.) (05/23)


8. Mich. man finds success as dedicated stump grinder

OPEI SmartBrief | May 27, 2015

Mike Siler of Siler's Stump Grinding credits his success to the fact that he focuses exclusively on stump grinding in the summer, rather than offering it as one of several services. In the winters, he provides snow blowing services. Siler, who retired from his job to work in the stump business full-time, has no employees and promises next-day service. Traverse City Record-Eagle (Mich.) (tiered subscription model) (05/26)


9. Bin Laden's reading list

OPEI SmartBrief | May 22, 2015

U.S. intelligence officials released a list of the books found on Osama bin Laden's bookshelves during the raid in which he was killed. Among his possessions were works by Noam Chomsky and Bob Woodward, along with numerous books about conspiracy theories. The Atlantic online (05/20)


10. Poll: 40% of jobless in U.S. have given up work search

OPEI SmartBrief | May 21, 2015

Of the 8.5 million Americans who don't have jobs, 40% have stopped trying to find work, a Harris poll found. The labor-force participation rate is still close to its lowest level in 37 years. "While the economy is indeed getting better for some, for others who have been unemployed long term, they are increasingly being left behind," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express Employment Professionals, which sponsored the poll. CNBC (05/20)




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