Imperium Renewables returns to Umpqua Bank for expansion capitol

Imperium Renewables, Inc., a leader in next-generation biofuels, announced a new lending agreement with Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (UMPQ), that will provide Imperium with an additional $10 million in working capital to fuel its growth.

This modification of a 2012 agreement increases Imperium’s working capital from Umpqua to $20 million while maintaining the company’s revolving line of credit with the bank.

“Umpqua Bank’s knowledgeable team continues to find smart, flexible financing solutions that Imperium needs,” said John Plaza, president and CEO of Imperium Renewables. “These resources will help us continue to grow and diversify our operations in biodiesel production and sales.”

Seattle-based Imperium Renewables develops proprietary technology and processes to produce biodiesel, a clean-burning alternative fuel whose global demand is growing due to its environmental benefits, including lower carbon dioxide emissions. Its Imperium Grays Harbor facility can produce up to 100 million gallons of biodiesel annually. The additional working capital supplied by Umpqua will position Imperium to expand production and sales.

“Imperium Renewables is a proven leader in the industry, and is uniquely poised for further growth,” said Danielle Burd, Umpqua Bank’s executive vice president and director of client relations. “We’re pleased to expand this partnership – and to provide access to capital that allows them to diversify and grow.”

Imperium is committed to producing the highest-quality biodiesel, using sustainable and environmentally sound feedstocks. In lending to Imperium, Umpqua Bank demonstrates its commitment to help grow the region’s economy by finding financial solutions for local businesses.

About Imperium Renewables

Imperium Renewables is a global leader in next-generation biofuel production. Founded in 2004, the company is driven by a single goal – to fundamentally change the way we fuel transportation by developing and producing clean, renewable and sustainable alternative fuels. Imperium operates one of the nation’s largest BQ-9000®-certified biodiesel facilities, Imperium Grays Harbor in Hoquiam, Wash.

About Umpqua Bank

Umpqua Bank , headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, and has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Northern Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and BusinessWeek, and named to FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” eight years in a row.

Washington’s minimum wage increases to $9.32 per hour

Tumwater – Washington’s minimum wage will increase to $9.32 per hour beginning today, as announced in September by the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).

The 13-cent-per-hour increase, from $9.19 to $9.32 an hour, reflects a 1.455 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index between September 2012 and August 2013 for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI‑W).

L&I uses this annual change in the federal CPI to calculate the state’s minimum wage each year, as required by Initiative 688, approved by Washington voters in 1998.

The CPI-W measures average price changes for goods and services purchased by urban wage earners and clerical workers. The goods and services it monitors include basic living costs such as food, clothing, shelter, fuels and services such as doctor visits.

Washington is one of 10 states that adjust the minimum wage based on inflation and the CPI. The others are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon and Vermont.

Washington has the highest minimum wage, followed by Oregon, where the minimum wage will rise on Jan. 1 by 15 cents, to $9.10 per hour.

Washington’s minimum wage applies to workers in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs, although 14‑ and 15-year-olds may be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage, or $7.92 per hour in 2014.

More information on Washington’s minimum wage is available at Wages.Lni.wa.gov. Employers and workers also may call 360-902-5316 or 1-866-219-7321.

California Firm Recalls Grilled Chicken Salad Products Due To Possible E. Coli O157:H7 Contamination

The products were produced between Sept. 23 and Nov. 6, 2013 and shipped to distributions centers intended for retail sale in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

FSIS began monitoring a cluster of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses on Oct. 29, 2013 then was notified by FDA on Nov. 6, 2013 that California authorities had reported case-patients consuming pre-packaged salads with grilled chicken. Working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FDA, the California Department of Public Health, the Washington State Department of Health, and the Arizona Department of Health Services, FSIS has determined that there is a link between the grilled chicken salads and the illness cluster. Twenty-six case-patients have been identified in three states with indistinguishable E. coli O157:H7 PFGE (genetic fingerprint) patterns with illness onset dates ranging from Sept 29, 2013 to Oct. 26, 2013. Based on epidemiological information, 15 case-patients reported consumption of ready-to-eat pre-packaged salads prior to illness onset. A traceback investigation determined Glass Onion Catering was the supplier of the products implicated in the outbreak.  

While uncommon to find E. coli O157:H7 in a poultry product, FSIS will continue its investigation in conjunction with the FDA to identify the source of the contamination. FSIS continues to work with the CDC, FDA and state public health partners on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.

 E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.
 
 FSIS and the company are concerned that some products may be in a consumer’s refrigerators. Because this is a ready-to-eat product, FSIS advises all consumers to destroy the product.

Media and consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Tom Atherstone, company president, at (510) 236-8905.
 
Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

Little Creek Casino Intros New CEO

“The Squaxin Island Tribe is committed to honoring Mother Earth and the respect and protection of all people,” said Starr. “Tribal members do this exceptionally well, which is evident in their commitment to excellence. Little Creek Casino guests find this dedication throughout the resort with our superb amenities, attention to detail, customer service and commitment to supreme hospitality. It’s an extreme honor to lead Little Creek during its journey as a premier resort destination.”

Starr was previously Senior Vice President and COO of Fontainebleau Resorts-Las Vegas and Miami Beach, Florida. Before joining Fontainebleau, Michael was with the Mandalay Resort Group for 15 years, where he opened Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition, the 1980 graduate of University of Las Vegas Nevada played an instrumental role in the expansion and renovation of Circus Circus Las Vegas and Luxor Las Vegas.

For more information on Little Creek Casino Resort please visit www.little-creek.com or call 1-800-667-7711.

About Little Creek Casino Resort

Owned and operated by the Squaxin Island Tribe, Little Creek Casino Resort features nearly 190 finely appointed rooms, seven dining choices, and authentic Indian art decorating the atrium-style main lobby area, which is built with wood, stone and glass. More than 1,000 slot machines and table games await casino guests, including poker, blackjack, craps, roulette and Texas Hold-Em. Top-quality, live entertainment — comedy, music and other shows — perform in Skookum Creek Event Center, which hosts business and other events for up to 2,000 guests.

No increase to Washington’s minimum wage in 2010

This is the first time since the initiative passed that there is no increase in the state’s minimum wage.

Employers may continue using the current minimum wage poster for another year.

Washington’s minimum wage applies to workers in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs, although 14­ and 15-year-olds may be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage, or $7.27.

Washington is one of ten states, with Oregon, Vermont, Ohio, Nevada, Montana, Missouri, Florida, Colorado, and Arizona, that adjusts the minimum wage based on inflation.

More information on Washington’s minimum wage is available at Wages.Lni.wa.gov. Employers and workers also may call 360-902-5316 or 1-866-219-7321.

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) recalculates the state’s minimum wage each year in September as required by Initiative 688, which was approved by Washington voters in 1998. The law requires that the state minimum wage be increased for inflation each year according to the change in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) during the 12 months ending each Aug. 31.

The CPI-W is a national index covering the cost of goods and services needed for day-to-day living. It decreased 1.9 percent during the 12­month period ending in August, compared to a 5.9 percent increase during the same period in 2008, which led to a 48-cents-an-hour increase in the 2009 minimum wage.

Boat inspections planned on I-5 to stop aquatic invasive species

"We need the cooperation of boat owners to keep aquatic invasive species out of Washington waters," said Allen Pleus, unit lead for WDFW’s Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention and Enforcement program.  "Once species like zebra and quagga mussels become established, they can be extremely destructive to native fish and wildlife while also causing millions of dollars in damage to public water systems."

Invasive mussels, which attach themselves to boats or other water-based equipment, have spread quickly in recent years, Pleus said.  Since the 1980s, when zebra and quagga mussels entered the Great Lakes in ship ballast water, they have established themselves in more than 20 states, including California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah.  

Neither species has yet been found in Washington waters, although WDFW has intercepted and decontaminated 17 boats infested with the tiny mussels in the past three years, Anderson said.

Importation of aquatic invasive species is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to $5,000 in fines and up to a year in jail. Knowingly bringing such species into Washington is a felony and can result in even greater fines and jail time.

The emphasis of the check-station inspection program is to intercept invasive species, not penalize boat owners, Anderson said.

"Our primary goal is stop these species from entering our state," he said.  "At the same time, we need boat owners to recognize the importance of inspecting and cleaning their vessels before moving them from one body of water to another." 

Because invasive mussels multiply quickly, they can threaten native fish and wildlife by consuming available food and smothering some species, Pleus said.  They can also clog water-intake systems at power plants, irrigation districts, public water suppliers and other facilities, causing millions of dollars in damage.

Pleus noted that mandatory check stations are just one way WDFW is working to keep invasive species out of Washington’s waters.  He said the department also works closely with the Washington State Patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard and public agencies in Oregon and Idaho to detect and eradicate the tiny invaders on both recreational and commercial vessels.

More information on aquatic invasive species is available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/ans/index.htm