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December 26, 2012
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  Top Story 
  • Ethanol-blend gasoline can cause lawn equipment to break down
    Source: The Beaufort Observer/ Fox Business
    Gasoline blends that contain ethanol can damage small engines inside lawn equipment, according to this article. One lawn mower owner had used his equipment twice and then needed it repaired. He had used E10 fuel. A service employee showed him a "Service Advisory" from Briggs & Stratton that warns customers about the effects of ethanol gasoline on small engines. The Beaufort Observer (Washington, N.C.) (12/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Industry Buzz 
  • N.C. hardware stores prepare stock of winter equipment
    Some hardware stores in North Carolina have prepared their stock of chain saws, generators and other winter equipment to brace for the rush of customers once bad weather is predicted. However, the supply of portable and standby generators is already low at a local Lowe's due to the high demand during Superstorm Sandy, said Johnny Everhart, the store's power equipment sales specialist. The storm also affected the production of standby generators, Everhart added. The Dispatch (Lexington, N.C.) (12/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Biological concrete can create low-maintenance vertical gardens
    A research team from the Universitat Polit├Ęcnica de Catalunya in Spain has developed a biological concrete that is slightly acidic to encourage growth of moss, lichens and fungi on the surface. The material can be used to construct vertical gardens that absorb water without letting it leak inside the building, which eliminates the need for hydroponic systems. It also discourages the growth of plant roots to protect the building from damage. TG Daily (12/20), Gizmag/UPC (12/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Indicators 
  Inside & Out 
  • How top companies take advantage of the holidays
    The holiday season doesn't have to sap your company's productivity. In fact, some companies see it as a chance to refocus on core values. Zappos has all employees spend 10 hours over the holiday period working in its customer call center to remind them of the value of customer service, while Target likes to run group volunteering programs instead of end-of-year parties. "Giving back to others is a great way to stay motivated," says Target human resources exec Jodee Kozlak. Fast Company online (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Communication skills trump appearance, top leaders say
    A leader's ability to look the part matters less than his or her ability to communicate effectively, top executives say. Some 28% of senior bosses say that communication skills predict a worker's leadership potential, but only 5% say that looking "polished and put together" is "a key factor" for future leaders, David Burkus writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Update 
  • Obama administration reportedly considers boosting refinancing plans
    Sources say the Obama administration is looking at plans to offer mortgage-refinancing programs to borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth and who don't have mortgages backed by the U.S. government. At the end of June, about 22% of all homes with a mortgage -- approximately 10.8 million homes, down from 12.1 million at the end of 2011 -- were worth less than what borrowers owed. The Wall Street Journal (12/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Never get so fascinated by the extraordinary that you forget the ordinary."
--Magdalen Nabb,
British author

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