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Mechel restarts some southern W.Va. operations

Jan. 25, 2013 @ 10:40 PM

CHARLESTON -- Russian mining company Mechel OAO says it's resuming some of its southern West Virginia operations.

In October, the Mechel Bluestone subsidiary cited high inventories and a sluggish market in suspending work and laying off an unspecified number of employees at its Keystone, Justice Energy and Dynamic Energy mining complexes.

On Thursday, it said coal inventories have been shrinking, so it's decided to resume open pit mining at the Justice and Dynamic Energy complexes.

Mechel says it will resume mining at other facilities when market conditions improve.

It hasn't said how many workers remain laid off.

Moscow-based Mechel operates mines, metal refineries and power plants in Russia, Kazakhstan, the United States, Romania, Bulgaria and Lithuania.

It bought Bluestone in 2009 from the owner of The Greenbrier, Jim Justice.

Greenbrier resort union workers vote on contract

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Union workers at The Greenbrier resort are voting on a proposed five-year contract.

Workers United Local 863 spokesman Peter Bostic declined to release details of the proposal. But he tells The Register-Herald that a bargaining committee had unanimously endorsed the agreement.

About 1,200 employees affiliated with eight unions work at the White Sulphur Springs resort. Voting was taking place all day Friday.

Resort President Jeff Kmiec says the agreement is "very positive for the employees and the resort."

An existing agreement that was ratified in 2009 expires next Thursday.

Verizon sells spectrum to AT&T for $1.9 billion

NEW YORK -- Verizon Wireless says it's selling space on the airwaves to AT&T in exchange for $1.9 billion and the transfer of some airwave rights from AT&T.

The sale of spectrum rights will let AT&T Inc. expand its capacity for wireless broadband in areas that include Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Oklahoma City and Cincinnati. In return, it's getting other frequencies in Los Angeles, Fresno, Calif., Phoenix and Portland, Ore.

Verizon is also selling North Carolina spectrum licenses covering Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh to Grain Management, a private-equity firm, for $189 million.

Hostess to announce bidder for Drake's

NEW YORK -- Hostess says it expects to unveil a bidder for Drake's snack cakes next week, although the fate of Twinkies is still being negotiated.

Drake's cakes, which include Devil Dogs, Funny Bones and Yodels, are among the brands Hostess is selling after announcing in November that it was shutting down its business.

Earlier this month, Hostess Brands Inc. filed bids by Tastykakes maker Flowers Foods Inc. to buy six of its bread brands, including Wonder, for $390 million.

Hostess, which is based in Irving, Texas, is filing bids for its popular brands in stages. These "stalking horse bids" set a floor for an auction process that lets rivals make better offers. The final sale must be approved by a judge in bankruptcy court.