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Kokomo Tribune (Newspaper) - September 9, 1994, Kokomo, Indiana Vol 144 No 6 Kokomo Ind Friday Sept Chrysler forging major expansion By DAVE PHILLIPS Tribune staff writer Chrysler Corp said today it will spend million to expand its Kokomo aluminum casting plant by square feet to increase capacity at its adjacent transmis sion plant by units a year In addition Chrysler announced plans to spend million through 1999 on capacity improvements at its Indiana oper ations netting as much as 950 new jobs mostly in Kokomo In addition to its Kokomo cast ing and transmission plants Chrysler operates a macnining and forge plant in New Castle and a foundry in Indianapolis Chrysler said the capital spend ing plan is subject to future nego tiations for state training funds and stateauthorized tax abate ments Gov Evan Bayh and Mayor Robert Sargent joined Chrysler officials and employees during groundbreaking ceremonies for the casting plant expansion early today The project will allow Chrysler to add 12 new die cast machines at the plant already the worlds largest casting operation The Indiana Department of Commerce will provide a mil lion Training 2000 grant to train employees Under its longterm spending plan Chrysler will invest million to train 821 new workers in Kokomo 134 new workers in New Castle cur rent workers in Kokomo and 152 current employees in New Castle This is one of the biggest train ing partnerships in said Bayh Chryslers recent success in the marketplace shows that it will continue to have an enor mously positive impact on Indi anas Chrysler officials say the project will allow the adjacent transmis sion plant to increase capacity for frontwheel drive transmissions by units a year It is scheduled to be completed next summer in time to support the 1996 model year Clearly this investment especially when coupled with an aggressive fiveyear capital investment plan is a reaffirma tion of Chryslers faith in this state Kokomo and casting said Rick Zella general manager of powertrain operations for Chrysler To meet growing demand for its vehicles Chrysler this year increased spending from bil lion to billion to lift world wide capacity by units to million vehicles by 1996 The plan will add up to jobs Chrysler estimates Chryslers 1994 sales are up percent through August with the company on track to sell a record million trucks mini vans and sport utility vehicles Since 1990 the automaker has invested over million to expand and add new equipment at the casting and transmission plants With employees the two plant complex represents the com panys largest manufacturing operation Chrysler is rebuilding many of the casting plants existing die cast units and has installed five new die cast machines this year under a previouslyannounced project Output at the casting plant could jump by as many as million casings a year officials say The plant produced slightly more than million casings and poured 219 million Ibs of alu minum last year It was built in 1965 when Chrysler switched from iron transmission cases to aluminum to reduce vehicle weight It was expanded in 1969 and 1986 and now covers about square feet It now produces about 111 dif ferent aluminum parts using 110 die cast machines Pork Festival court TIPTON Ind Erica Lee Crouch 16 a junior at Tipton High School was selected Miss Pork Cuisine at the Tipton Pork Festi val Thursday night She is the daughter of Jeff and Jan Crouch Her court leftright was first runnerup and Miss Congeniality Heather Moreland second runnerup Sandy Nash and third runnerup Jamie Smith For more on the festival see Page A3 Tribune photo by Stephen Shaner KDC offers sweeping developmental changes Brannon By DAVE PHILLIPS Tribune staff writer The County Development Corp unveiled a new economic development blue print Thursday that calls for more collaboration throughout the countys education system and creation of lifelong learning opportunities The study also recom mends improvements to 31 between Indi anapolis and South Bend The strate gic plan 16 months in the making also seeks to capi talize on the citys advanced industrial econo my and increase industrial park space to attract new businesses This plan is intended to address eco nomic devel opment in a broad sense to include not only job cre ation and business growth but also the social political and natural envi ronment that affects business cli mate and job said Phil Wert chairman of the KHCDC board Dubbed KokomoHoward County Where America the study also recom mends the citys Government Coordinating Council be broad ened calls for a new citywide beautification and improvement Where America Works Economic development goals Promote Integrated system of education in county n Improve key transportation assets Including 31 Increase Industrial park space D Enhance the value of the countys amenities n Capitalize on countys advanced Industrial economy n Pursue countywide intergovernmental coordination n Create new marketing campaign to promote Kokomo Wert plan as well as a feasibility study for a civic center The broader economic environ ment has changed quite dramati cally since those stressful years of the early 1980s when Howard County leaders regrouped after a deep said Jim Bran non president of the KHDC No longer can we view Kokomo as a small factory town surrounded by the quiet rural areas of north central The study was funded in part by a grant from the Indiana Economic Development Council Created by the Indiana General Assembly in 1985 the IEDS serves as a think tank on state economic development issues A 15member steering commit tee made up of business and com munity leaders guided the study with more than 60 other commu nity leaders participating KHCDC officials say the com munitys economic development goals have changed since the groups last study completed by the Fantus Group of Chicago The Fantus plan undertaken in 1986 called for expanding the citys Revolving Loan Fund to include the service sector mod ernizing traffic signals widening the Washington Street bridge over Wildcat Creek repairing uptown sidewalks and renovating trie for mer city building Please see KDC P12 Plane crath A USAIr jet carrying 131 people crashed while trying to land Thursday Flight 427 originated in Chicago and was to stop In Pittsburgh before continuing to West Palm Beach Ra Boeing Deadly flight Jetliner plunges into ravine 132 dead Engines Built by Tiro turbofans engines imounted forward of v Boeing Commercial Airplane Group ALIQUIPPA Pa AP The jet liner banked to the right rolled a few times and nosedived into a ravine There was a muffled boom then the sky turned bright with flames as a mack cloud of smoke mushroomed into the air It was just coming straight said one person who saw the USAir jetliner crash Thursday evening All 132 people aboard the Boe ing 737300 died the deadliest crash in the United States since 1987 and USAirs fifth fatal crash in as many years A pilot nurse and paramedic flown in by a medical helicopter walked through the site moments after the crash They saw body parts hangings from trees The airplane was in a million pieces and the people inside were in pieces Jim Bothwell STAT MedEvac helicopters and baggage strewn everywhere It was total said Jim Bothwell director of opera tions for the STAT MedEvac heli copter service The airplane was in a million pieces and the people inside were in USAir Flight 427 originated in Chicago and was to stop in Pitts burgh before continuing to West Palm Beach Fla Jason Moka a 10yearold who was playing soccer a halfmile from where the plane went down said its engines seemed to be sput tering before the crash The crew radioed Pittsburgh International Airport when the plane was about six miles away and there was no indication at that time of any USAir said in a statement this morning Skies were clear Investigators hoped to gain some clues from the planes black box which records flight data The plane was powered by CFM3B1 engines made by CFM International a joint venture of General Electric Co and French manufacturer Snecma The jet crashed in a rocky heavi ly wooded ravine about 10 miles from Pittsburgh International Air port an area of Beaver County best known for producing tough asnails steelworkers and such football stars as Tony Dorsett and Mike Ditka This makes 5 fatal crashes in 5 years for USAir NEW YORK AP The crash of a USAir jet near Pittsburgh which killed 132 people was the airlines fifth fatal accident in as many years Dave Shipley a USAir spokesman called Thursdays crash an fcnUjpd incident and said the crashes had no common thread It wasnt immediately known what caused the plane to go down as it approached Pittsburgh Inter national Airport for a landing The Boeing 737300 was heading from Chicagos OHare Airport to Pitts burgh and was to continue to West Palm Beach Fla The flight was carrying five crew and 126 passengers It has a maximum capacity of 128 The plane was delivered to USAir in October 1987 said Jerry Johnson a spokesman for Boeing Commercial Airplane Group in Renton Wash USAir based in Arlington has lost money every year since 1989 It lost million in 1993 and million for the first half of 1994 Shipley said a rumor that USAir is under investigation for improp er maintenance of its fleet of 737s wasnt true The Boeing 737 is the bestselling commercial jet in avia tion history The 737 is a very reliable fami ly of aircraft We nave no reason to believe there is any problem with the Shipley said Inside todays Tribune Local Why did Hoosier rock n roller John Mellencamp can cel his concert tour Page A3 Style Quilting comes to Burling ton Page Bl Sports Baseball season might end today Page A8 Also Inside Business Classified Local News of
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