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The [Thursday] Papers

"ConAgra Foods said Thursday that it plans to move its headquarters to Chicago. It will eliminate 1,000 corporate jobs in Omaha and move at least 300 to the Windy City, cutting its salaried payroll in the area by more than half," the Omaha World-Herald reports.

"Omaha-based ConAgra said the moves are designed to achieve cost savings of $300 million as it remakes itself under pressure from investors."

I'm not sure this is something Chicago should celebrate.


On Wednesday, the World-Herald reported this:

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said Tuesday he has spoken with ConAgra Foods Chief Executive Sean Connolly in recent days about a state aid package that would assist the Omaha-based company.

Ricketts told The World-Herald that such aid would not be limited to the standard tax and economic incentives already enshrined in Nebraska law.

"We are not restricting this to what is on the books," Ricketts said. "We are willing to work with them in whatever way necessary to help them be competitive in their industry."

The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday that Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has offered ConAgra tax incentives to move its headquarters to Chicago from Omaha. Crain's Chicago Business, a magazine, reported the move "appears to be a done deal." Neither cited sources, and their reports couldn't be independently verified. Rauner's office didn't respond to a request for comment, nor did the office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The Chicago Tribune said Connolly negotiated the incentive package with Illinois months ago.

Pete Ricketts, of course, is the spitting image Republican son of "Government Handout Hypocrite" Joe Ricketts, who bought the the Cubs for son Tom and owns junior reporting outfit DNAinfo Chicago.

Rauner, of course, is the Republican governor who can't find money for kids on ventilators and is now "using an obscure rule-making process to repeatedly tighten eligibility requirements for numerous social service programs for children, the elderly and the disabled."

Rahm Emanuel, of course, is the Republicanish mayor of Chicago who will take credit for the whole thing while ignoring the damage to 1,500 livelihoods.

ConAgra is the company with $16 billion in revenue in its last fiscal year.


Repeat offender:

"In 1986, the company threatened to leave Omaha for Tennessee, which offered substantial incentives to relocating companies. The Nebraska Legislature passed a suite of bills that lowered corporate taxes for qualifying companies, exempted computers and corporate jets and cut personal taxes on the wealthy.

"Those laws have since been superseded by new ones that offer tax credits for investment and job creation, worker training grants and money for land acquisition and improvements."

Among the moves made by Nebraska for ConAgra:

"Reduced the personal income tax on the wealthy, which would include top business executives, by about 30 percent."


Deduce for yourself which Illinois pols will receive ConAgra's largesse.


Bills ConAgra lobbied in 2014.


New ConAgra CEO Sean Connolly lives in Winnetka, according to the Tribune. So, yeah, this move was really about shortening his commute.


Connolly's big move when he was at Campbell's was to put the salt back in its soup. So mad skillz.


ConAgra is a portmanteau of Consolidated Agriculture.


Global warming laggards:

"ConAgra has been criticized for its lack of response to global climate change.

"A 2006 report by CERES, a non-profit organization that works to address global climate change and other sustainability issues, titled 'Corporate Governance and Climate Change: Making the Connection,' measures how 100 leading global companies are responding to global warming.

"Companies in the report were evaluated on a 0 to 100 scale. ConAgra scored a total of 4 points, the lowest of any of the food companies rated.

"In a 2009 ranking by Newsweek, ConAgra was ranked 342nd out of America's 500 largest corporations in terms of overall environmental score."

Yay, welcome to Chicago!


Also: "Looking to fund the cleanup of a Superfund site in western New York, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has sued the property's operators, ConAgra Grocery Products Co. Inc. and a raft of other companies, accusing them of dumping hazardous waste [toxic sludge] on the grounds and seeking past and future response costs."


Labor laggards:

"In May 2003, ConAgra and its subsidiary Gilroy Foods agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle charges of hiring discrimination brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

"The charges involved a July 1999 Teamsters strike at a plant in King City, California, then owned by Basic Vegetable Products LP but later purchased by ConAgra.

"In August 2001, the company successfully negotiated with the union to end the two-year strike with a new contract that would recall workers based on seniority.

"However, the recall process excluded workers who were on leave at the time of the purchase including those out due to work injury or pregnancy.

"Others were denied jobs due to a history of previous injury or illness, despite their having no restrictions on returning to work.

"According to the EEOC, most of the 39 workers who were excluded from the recall process had been working at the plant for 10 to 30 years and were primarily Hispanic and female."

Yay, welcome to Chicago!


Fraud and bribery:

"In 1997, ConAgra pled guilty to federal criminal charges that its Peavey Grain unit illegally sprayed water on stored grain to increase its weight and value and also bribed federal inspectors.

"The company agreed to pay $8.3 million to resolve the charges, which included a $4.4 million criminal fine, $3.45 million as compensation for illegal profits and $450,000 to reimburse the U.S. Department of Agriculture for storage and investigation expenses.

"ConAgra had also paid $2 million to settle a related civil case filed by a group of Indiana farmers.

"Multinational Monitor, a corporate watchdog organization, named ConAgra one of the 'Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the 1990s."

More specifically, ConAgra was ranked 50th among the top 100 corporate criminals of the '90s.

Yay, welcome to Chicago!


Pattern of threats and historic preservation destruction:

"In 1988, ConAgra threatened relocating out of Omaha, moving to Denver, Chicago or Minneapolis if the city didn't help them find a new location for their headquarters.

"[CEO] Charles Harper requested that the city of Omaha demolish the historic site, one of the largest sites on the National Register of Historic Places

" Omaha approved the demolition of over 20 historic structures in 'Jobbers Canyon Historic District,' a 19th-century warehouse district along the banks of the Missouri River in Downtown Omaha, Nebraska.

"The demolition was performed to make room for a sprawling new corporate campus and headquarters, and prompted protests and lawsuits from historic preservationists. [Harper] described the structures as 'some big, ugly red brick buildings.'

"The National Trust for Historic Preservation asked that the historic legacy of a city and region not be held hostage to the narrow corporate preferences of a single commercial enterprise, but ConAgra refused to reconsider."

Yay, welcome to Chicago!


And who can forget the Slim Jim factory explosion of 2009?

"On June 9, 2009 at 11:27 am ET, the Slim Jim manufacturing plant in Garner, North Carolina, was rocked by an explosion that resulted in the collapse of a section of the facility's roof and wall.

"Four workers were killed while 67 others - including three firefighters - were hospitalized for burns and exposure to ammonia gases.

"The explosion happened when natural gas was purged into the interior of the building during commissioning of a new, gas-fired water heater.

"This explosion was directly responsible for an amendment to the National Fuel Gas Code prohibiting fuel gas piping systems in large buildings from being purged indoors."

Yay, welcome to Chicago!


See also: ConAgra Forced To Apologize For Tricking Bloggers Into Eating ConAgra Food.


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This dude is taking his collection to Minnesota.

Posted by The Beachwood Reporter on Thursday, October 1, 2015

Gain ConAgra, lose Science.


But we've got ConAgra!


Now featuring ConAgra press releases!


Rauners, Ricketts' and Rahms in training.


Here is our groundbreaking police accountability website! For the first time in America you can access 15 years of a police accountability agency's documents. We have data going back to January 1, 1999.

Posted by The Beachwood Reporter on Wednesday, September 30, 2015









The Beachwood Tip Line: Consolidated.


Posted on October 1, 2015

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
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SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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