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Fatality #15

MSHAredDecember 19, 2011 – On December 8, a 41-year-old crusher operator with eight years of experience was killed at a surface stone operation. A set of wheels was to be placed on a conveyor to transport it from the mine. A front-end loader was being used to lift the conveyor when the loader bucket suddenly dropped, allowing the frame of the conveyor to strike one of the tire assemblies.

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Third Quarter Production Holds Steady

usgsDecember 15, 2011 – Third-quarter production numbers are in, and according to USGS Crushed Stone Commodity Specialist Jason Willett, an estimated 619 Mt of total aggregates was produced and shipped for consumption in the United States in the third quarter of 2011, a very slight increase compared with that of the same period of 2010.

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Wild Webinar Week

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nssgaDecember 13, 2011 – It has been a wild week for industry webinars, as both ARTBA and NSSGA sponsored information sessions focusing on economic and regulatory updates. I personally sat in on both webinars. ARTBA’s Alison Premo Black was very concise and specific as she assessed the failure of Congress to hammer out a viable infrastructure bill. Despite that, she noted where some industry bright spots have occurred this year, such as bridge construction, and in 18 states that have actually spent more on infrastructure in 2011 than in 2010.

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Martin Marietta Makes Hostile Bid for Vulcan

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vulcanDecember 12, 2011 – There is major M&A News in the aggregates industry today. Rock Products has learned that Martin Marietta Materials kicked off a hostile bid to acquire Vulcan Materials, beginning an exchange offer worth more than $4.6 billion for its rival in an effort to combine the nation two largest producers of crushed stone and gravel. According to wire reports, Martin Marietta is offering 0.5 of a share for each Vulcan share. As of Friday’s closing price, that bid was worth $36.69 a share, a 9 percent premium to Vulcan’s stock price that day. Martin Marietta also intends to name five nominees to Vulcan’s board and began a lawsuit in Delaware’s court of chancery to add pressure to its target.

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Is Delay Back?

HighwayBillDecember 6, 2011 – It makes you wonder if Tom Delay is back in the House of Representatives. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) announced yet another "delay" in moving a bill for long-term surface transportation funding.

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