Quick Takes

published: An article by Salem Township Trustee Terry Bell is featured in the current article of Ohio Township News, the bi-monthly magazine of the Ohio Township Association.

Bell wrote an extensive article about how rural areas can be proactive in dealing with oil, gas and pipeline companies. He says the three most key words for landowners and township trustees to keep in mind are “lawyer, lawyer and lawyer.”

ONE BIG TOOL FIRM: After 90 years, struggling department store operator Sears is selling its well-known Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker Inc.

Stanley plans to grow the brand by selling Craftsman tools in more stores outside of Sears. Today, only 10 percent of Craftsman products are sold outside of Sears-owned stores. Sears will continue to sell Craftsman products at its stores, including Kmart and Sears Hometown. Sears, based in Hoffman Estates, Ill., first took control of the Craftsman brand in 1927 when it bought the trademark for $500.

Stanley will pay Sears about $900 million for Craftsman, which includes $525 million when the deal closes this year, $250 million after three years and a percentage of sales for 15 years. After 15 years, Sears will start paying Stanley 3 percent of the Craftsman sales it makes.

Stanley, based in New Britain, Conn., makes and sells tools under several brands, including Stanley, DeWalt and Black & Decker.

Alcoa closings: Alcoa Corp. said Wednesday that it will permanently close the alumina refinery and bauxite mines in Suriname that were pillars of the economy in the South American nation until the company halted operations there in November 2015.

Alcoa said it would continue to operate the Afobaka hydroelectric facility, which supplied power to the refinery, pending agreements with the government on the disposition of Alcoa’s remaining assets in Suriname. The company was also working out issues related to environmental remediation related to its operations.

Surinamese officials have said they intend to eventually take control of the dam, but Alcoa declined to comment on when that might occur.

The halting of refinery operations was a major blow to the economy of Suriname, a country that has been struggling with lower prices for its commodity exports and high inflation. U.S.-based Alcoa has been shrinking its aluminum business, which has been hurt by lower prices.

Alcoa said only a “handful” of employees remain on site. As a result of the closure, the company said that it would record $90 million in restructuring charges in the fourth quarter of 2016 and that its total share of costs associated with the closure would amount to an estimated $151 million over five years.

Tuna rules: The federal government is changing some of the rules about how fishermen harvest tuna in an attempt to protect one of the species.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has said the rule change is designed to steer fishermen who catch yellowfin tuna and swordfish via longline away from bluefin tuna.

Globally, Atlantic bluefin tuna are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Domestically, the U.S. government considers the species to be overfished.

Fishing boats sometimes catch them incidentally while targeting other commercial fish species.

The fisheries service said the new rule will modify the way the agency handles the distribution of quota transfers in the longline tuna fishery.

The service said flexibility will improve fishing opportunities while limiting the number of bluefin tuna that are incidentally caught.

The rules will also assist with the goal of accounting for all bluefin tuna that do get caught, the service said.

The new rules go into effect Jan. 28.

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