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Wisconsin Business Briefs: Oshkosh contractor cited for death at recycling plant

FRANKLIN, Va. - A contractor from Oshkosh has been cited in the death of a worker last fall at a paper recycling plant in Virginia.

C.R. Meyer-and-Son of Oshkosh and S-T Tissue of Franklin, Virginia are both challenging citations issued by Virginia's Labor-and-Industry department. 38-year-old James Denny III of Fayetteville, North Carolina died after he was hit by an overhead crane last October at the recycling facility in Franklin. The Virginian-Pilot recently obtained the citations. They said the crane's operator was not trained to run the machine. Also, the operator apparently could not see where the crane was going at the time. Meyer faces $70,000 in penalties. S-T Tissue faces $32,000 in fines.


A Sheboygan man is free on a $50,000 cash bond, after he allegedly used credit cards from the Kohler Company to start an escort service. 46-year-old Kirk Riddle is charged with a dozen counts of felony embezzlement. Prosecutors said he used two cards issued by his employer to rack up $117,000 for a "VIP adult entertainment business." Authorities said Riddle made a host of charges from mid-April through mid-May for cell phones, advertising, cameras, airfare, and lodging for women who traveled from Las Vegas. Officials said Kohler security personnel confronted Riddle about the expenses, and he admitted quote, "managing" some women from his home and paying for their hotels. Riddle is a communications employee for Kohler. He's due back in court next Wednesday, when a judge will decide if there's enough evidence to order a trial.


A Waukesha company will help utilities around the country test a plug-in system for about 120 large gas-and-electric-powered hybrid trucks. Odyne Systems of Waukesha has obtained a $45-million contract from the Electric Power Research Institute. The South Coast Air Quality Management District in southern California is also part of the project. It's all under the umbrella of a U.S. Energy Department program which encourages the use of electric power for commercial vehicles. Odyne president Joe Dalum says the contract is very significant. He says it will put the advantage of hybrid systems to work in large utility trucks which serve communities throughout the nation. Dalum says his company also expects that the contract will eventually into create more widespread use of Odyne's hybrid systems. Odyne says the utility hybrids will incorporate lithium-ion made by Milwaukee's Johnson Controls at a plant in Michigan - plus transmission systems made by Allison of Indiana.