TVA sounds sirens for Sequoyah tests

The Tennessee Valley Authority is conducting annual maintenance on the nuclear sirens in the 10-mile radius of the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant through the end of October.

TVA spokeswoman Malinda Hunter said area residents can expect to hear the full test of a three-minute sounding, which is normally heard the first Wednesday of each month at noon, followed by additional shorter soundings as the maintenance teams ensure the sirens are working as designed. Sirens are tested individually following maintenance activities over the next three weeks, and all sirens will not sound at the same time.

Hunter said if you hear a siren, turn on your radio or television and listen for instructions. If there is emergency information, WUSY-FM (100.7) in Chattanooga is the primary emergency alert system station in the area and is monitored by other stations.


TVA extends labor agreements

The Tennessee Valley Authority and North America's Building Trades Unions have reached an agreement for a 10-year extension of their Project Labor Agreements designating the union coalition as the official bargaining unit for all TVA contractors that utilize workers covered by the 15 unions in the group.

Until now, the customary extension period for Project Labor Agreements has been five years and the new agreement will extend the partnership through 2031.

"TVA and the Building & Trade Unions have been partners since TVA's inception," said TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash. "TVA was built by trades & labor workers.

The Project Labor Agreements cover the terms and conditions of employment on projects, such as quality of work, productivity and timely completion.

"TVA and NABTU have set the standard for successful labor management cooperation for almost 90 years," said North America's Building Trades Unions' President Sean McGarvey. "All other successful models replicate this partnership where workers have a seat at the table, and we work together to create and maintain middle-class family sustaining jobs and bring affordable power and economic development to families and business in the Valley."

TVA is the largest employer in the Southeast of NABTU-represented trades and labor workers. During outages and construction, TVA can employ 5,000 or more NABTU workers.


French organic firm adds Tennessee plant

A French organic baby food maker will build its first North American plant in Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee, where the company plans to invest $44.9 million and hire 147 workers.

Babynov USA, a new division of Global Baby, will renovate an existing facility in Red Boiling Springs in order to expand its market to the United States.

Founded in 1999, Global Baby provides ready-to-feed baby milks and prepared food products, such as fruit and vegetable purees, full meals and milk-based desserts. The group is headquartered in Paris, France. The Macon County facility will be the company's first in North America.

"Babynov USA felt very welcome in Tennessee, and we believe we found a place where our business will thrive," said Babynov USA CEO Bruno Romand-Monnier.

Tennessee is home to more than 1,000 foreign-owned establishments that employ approximately 150,000 Tennesseans. France is among the top 10 countries for foreign direct investment in Tennessee, with French companies employing more than 11,000 people at nearly 90 establishments across the state.


Topgolf Chattanooga lands Angry Birds game

Angry Birds has landed at Topgolf Chattanooga as the East Ridge complex launched a new game.

Topgolf has partnered with Rovio Entertainment, the creators of the Angry Birds franchise, for the new game, and Topgolf has released a limited-edition Angry Birds Sauce at the same time. Also, it has teamed up with former pro football player Roddy White and entertainer Ludacris to share a celebratory dance in which guests can take part while playing the Angry Birds game, the company said.

"The Angry Birds partnership is a great example of our work to bring people together for engaging and innovative experiences," said Topgolf Chief Executive Officer Dolf Berle in a statement.

Like the physics-based challenges in the Angry Birds mobile games, Topgolf guests use Angry Birds characters as golf balls to smash down structures, defeat pigs, and earn as many points and stars as possible, according to the company.


Industrial output drops last month

U.S. industrial production fell 0.6% in September, the weakest showing since spring and a sign that the economy's recovery from the pandemic recession may be faltering just as confirmed viral infections are resurging in much of the country.

The Federal Reserve reported Friday that industrial production suffered its first decline since a 12.7% drop in April during the spring lockdowns of businesses that paralyzed the economy. The key category that reflects manufacturing output fell 0.3%. At the same time, mining output, which includes oil and gas exploration, fell 5.6%. Production at utilities rose 1.7%.

Last month's reading on industrial production followed four straight increases that began in May after sharp declines in March and April. Industrial production has recovered more than half of its spring declines but remains 7.1% below its pre-pandemic level in February.

"Industrial output came in well below expectations, one of the first real signs that the recovery is losing momentum under the weight of the ongoing health crisis and fading support from fiscal relief," Oxford Economics said in a research note.

Production of motor vehicles and parts fell for a second straight month, dropping 4% after a 4.3% decline in August which had followed big increases after auto plants re-opened.


Peloton recalls pedals on 27,000 of its bikes

Peloton recalled clip-in pedals on about 27,000 of its bikes after it received reports of broken pedals causing injuries, including five that needed stitches or other medical care.

The recall applies to pedals on bikes sold between July 2013 and May 2016, Peloton said in a post on its website. It came after 120 reports of the pedals breaking and 16 reports of injuries.

The recall is a setback for a company that has emerged as one of the major winners of the quarantine economy, with people turning to its at-home stationary bikes and treadmills when they could not go to the gym or boutique fitness studios. The bikes, at $1,895 plus a $39 monthly subscription fee for access to live-streamed classes, are some of the priciest available on the market.

Amelise Lane, a spokeswoman for Peloton, said the company was focused on the safety and well-being of customers.

"We take pride in providing the best equipment, proprietary networked software, and world-class streaming digital fitness and wellness content that our members love," she said in a statement. She added that the recall affected only customers using their out-of-warranty original pedals on the affected bikes sold.