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Current Events

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  • 29 May 2014 2:06 PM | Amanda Schuster (Administrator)
    ARLINGTON, Va. – In the wake of two mine stakeholder safety summits held in less than four weeks, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced today it is stepping up efforts even further to counteract the recent spike in mining deaths.

    Enforcement personnel from MSHA’s coal and metal and nonmetal programs (along with field staff from the agency’s Educational Policy and Development division) will visit mines across the country to conduct safety “walk and talks” with miners and mine operators to increase their awareness of recent fatalities and encourage them to apply their safety training and remain vigilant for unsafe conditions. Discussion topics will include: task training, mine examinations, causes of mining fatalities and best practices to prevent mine accidents.

    Inspectors will continue to look for the types of conditions that led to recent mining deaths and exercise their enforcement authority.

    Since October 2013, 20 miners have lost their lives in metal and nonmetal mining accidents, including six supervisors. MSHA held a summit on May 5 to inform the mining industry about the causes of these accidents and shared best practices needed to prevent them. Just last week, more than 250 representatives from the metal and nonmetal mining industry participated in a conference call with MSHA officials to continue the discussion about mine fatalities and the role that safety trainers can play in accident prevention.

    “MSHA is using all of its tools – education and outreach, training and enforcement – to prevent these accidents,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.

    “But it will also take the efforts of those outside the agency – operators, miners and trainers – to turn this troubling trend around.”
  • 15 May 2014 2:08 PM | Edward Moses (Administrator)

    Now that the 2014 legislative session has ended, I want to thank you for your support.  With your help, we were able to protect our 10-year transportation program T-WORKS, which is so vital to the economic success of our state. 

    With no new money transfers from the KDOT budget, I would call the 2014 session a great success.  But that doesn’t mean our work is over.

    Because of federal funding uncertainty in Washington and the continued efforts in Kansas to rely on KDOT to fund other agencies’ needs, we must continue to be vigilant about the use of the dollars intended for infrastructure investments in our state.

    I am happy to report that T-WORKS is on-time and on-budget and scheduled to be completed as promised.  However, we are going to continue to asses our current outgoing transfers and those long-term impacts.  

    KDOT remains committed to completing all of the transportation projects programmed under T-WORKS and we will maintain that commitment even if we must tighten our belt in other ways.  Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to visiting with you when we tour the state for local consult meetings this fall.


    Mike King

    Secretary of Transportation

    Director of the Kansas Turnpike

  • 28 Apr 2014 3:09 PM | Amanda Schuster (Administrator)
    APAC-Kansas, Inc. has recently kicked off their 2014 fund raising campaign for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hays.

    This fund raiser offers all of APAC’s ready mix customers the opportunity to donate $1.00 per cubic yard with their concrete order. The donation is recorded on each invoice in the same the way that Fibers or Calcium is recorded. It will then matched by APAC dollar for dollar up to $5,000. At the year end all donations will be sent to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hays.

    This is a wonderful opportunity for companies or individuals to help kids in our community," said Randy Hattesohl, APAC-Kansas Branch Manager.


  • 28 Apr 2014 3:05 PM | Amanda Schuster (Administrator)

    Kansas had the fourth-highest rate of growth in the construction industry from March 2013 to 2014 in the country.

    The Associated General Contractors of America compiled data about employment in the construction industry from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kansas added about 4,600 construction jobs between March 2013 and March 2014, for an 8.3 percent growth rate. Some other states, such as Texas and California, added substantially more jobs, but they showed a smaller rate of growth because of their substantially larger construction industries.

    Florida had the highest rate of growth, at 11.5 percent, followed by Oregon, Minnesota, Kansas and Nevada.

    Kansas also placed fourth in growth from February to March 2014, with a 2.9 percent rate. In the month-over-month rankings, North Dakota led the way, followed by Louisiana, South Carolina, Kansas and Minnesota.

    Mike Gibson, executive director of the Associated General Contractors of Kansas, said construction companies from out of state have been coming to take advantage of the relatively active construction market. Much of the growth is indirectly coming from the building of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, as Kansas State University and area businesses prepare to accommodate the facility and its workers, he said.

    “You’re seeing quite a lot of growth in the Manhattan area due to NBAF,” he said.

    Dormitories at The University of Kansas, the Mars facility in Topeka and new medical buildings in Garden City also created work for the construction industry, Gibson said. Some construction growth also comes from fossil fuel pipelines running through the area, and Wichita is starting to rebound from its losses in the recession, he said.

    “They’re not where they were 10 years ago, but they’re seeing a 3 to 5 percent rate” of growth, he said.

    Infrastructure replacement also is driving some projects, Gibson said. Much of the water and wastewater infrastructure under Kansas was built between the 1930s and 1950s, he said, so cities have reached the point in the maintenance life cycle where they have to replace old infrastructure.

    Construction companies around Topeka have begun adding workers in anticipation that business will pick up soon, Gibson said, but employment around the capital hasn’t grown as quickly as in some parts of the state.

    “I think that Topeka is a little bit slower, but I think there are possibilities in the next couple, three years,” he said.

    Bob Totten, executive vice president of the Kansas Contractors Association, which primarily represents companies working in highway construction, said he has seen some growth in that sub-sector compared to last year, but contractors aren’t too busy at home to take out-of-state jobs.

    “It’s not anything to get real excited about,” he said.

    In some areas, including southwest Kansas and the Wichita area, however, they can’t find enough skilled construction workers to meet demand, Totten said.

    “They’re struggling to find employees to do the work, particularly in the McPherson area,” he said.

    Ivan Weichert, CEO of the Topeka Home Builders Association, said housing construction in Topeka has been “steady,” but hasn’t caught fire. He said Manhattan has seen more growth, and the commercial side of construction is livelier than residential.

    “I think (the growth) is mostly tied to commercial construction, because we haven’t seen much of that locally” in residential construction, he said.

    The four states surrounding Kansas also experienced growth in construction employment, but at lower rates. Their growth rates were: Colorado, 5.9 percent; Oklahoma, 4.5 percent; Missouri, 3.6 percent; and Nebraska, 3.4 percent.

    Colorado posted only a 0.8 percent gain from February to March, and Missouri’s construction employment grew by 1.9 percent. Oklahoma and Nebraska lost construction jobs, though the dip accounted for less than 1 percent of their construction workers.

  • 22 Apr 2014 10:23 AM | Amanda Schuster (Administrator)
    Today marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day, an annual occasion on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day is now celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.

    In observance, NSSGA President and CEO Mike Johnson said, “On Earth Day 2014 it is important to note that progress has been made in the effort to clean our air and water so that our children will inherit a cleaner and safer world for future generations. But our efforts must continue.”

    According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Trends, between 1980 and 2012, the gross domestic product increased 133 percent, vehicle miles traveled increased 92 percent, energy consumption increased 27 percent and the U.S. population grew by 38 percent. During the same time period, total emissions of the six principal air pollutants dropped by 67 percent. Additionally, from 1990 to 2008, emissions of air toxics declined by approximately 62 percent.

    Johnson continued, “Sustainability is not just an idea, but the way the aggregates industry does business. NSSGA members invest heavily to protect their communities’ air and water, as well as voluntarily engaging in creating wildlife habitats and conserving water and energy. Our materials not only go into roads, bridges and airports but are also integral parts of cleaning air and water for our communities. NSSGA members have spent the past several decades working to protect the environment, and plan to spend the next improving on our past successes.”

    Based near the nation’s capital, NSSGA is the world’s largest mining association by product volume. Its member companies represent more than 90 percent of the crushed stone and 70 percent of the sand and gravel produced annually in the U.S. During 2013, a total of 2 billion metric tons of crushed stone, sand and gravel, valued at $18.6 billion, were produced and sold in the United States.
  • 19 Mar 2014 11:25 AM | Edward Moses (Administrator)
    From Mike King Kansas Secretary of Transportation:

    We appreciate the ongoing help and support of our partners in raising awareness and improving safety in work zones and wanted to give you advanced notice of our upcoming activities as part of the annual National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), April 7-11.

     

    There are several ways you can get involved:

    ---ORANGE PHOTOS--- – send us photos of people going orange - whether it’s selfies or group shots, just highlight the orange! (Check out the photos below).  Please include the organization/person’s name and town/location.

    ---SAFETY BLOGS--- – Check our KDOT Blogspot page here each day starting April 7 during NWZAW for safety blogs from highway workers, contractors and others. Please make comments!

    ---SOCIAL MEDIA---- Check our Facebook page daily here. Also, feel free to place links on your organization’s web pages to our work zone safety information – we will have a logo and link on our main KDOT page, www.ksdot.orgstarting April 7 you can link to or tweet about – the more people who see the safety information, the better!

    ---NEWS CONFERENCE--- – Our statewide work zone safety news conference will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 10, at KDOT’s Area Four office at I-70/Gage in Topeka. Our partners are invited to attend.

    --ORANGE BUILDINGS --- The Governor’s Mansion, the Amelia Earhart Memorial Bridge, the inside of the Visitor’s Center at the Capitol, the Eisenhower State Office Building and KDOT’s District offices in Topeka, Salina, Norton, Chanute, Hutchinson and Garden City will all be lit up in orange this week! If you turn a building or other structure orange, send us a photo!

     

                              

     

    Thanks for your continued support!

  • 11 Mar 2014 3:31 PM | Amanda Schuster (Administrator)
    Please click on the brochure below to see a PDF of the information about Kansas CMV and US DOT numbers related to registration. 

  • 07 Mar 2014 2:48 PM | Amanda Schuster (Administrator)
    RALEIGH, N.C. & DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. (NYSE:MLM) and Texas Industries, Inc. (NYSE:TXI) announced that the Boards of Directors of both companies have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which Martin Marietta will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Texas Industries common stock in a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Texas Industries shareholders will receive 0.700 Martin Marietta shares for each share of Texas Industries common stock they own at closing. Based on the closing market prices for the shares of both companies on January 27, 2014, and their debt levels as of their most recently completed quarters, the combined company will have an enterprise value of approximately $8.5 billion.

    The combination will create a market leading supplier of aggregates and heavy building materials, with low-cost, vertically integrated aggregate and targeted cement operations. With greater geographic and product diversity and a leading distribution network, the combined company will have uniquely positioned assets across some of the nation's largest and fastest growing geographies, such as Texas and California. As market conditions improve, the combined company will be well-positioned for long-term growth, with a network in excess of 400 quarries, mines, distribution yards and plants spanning 36 states, Canada, the Bahamas and the Caribbean Islands. With a significant increase in scale and the potential to achieve substantial synergies, the combined company will seek to grow faster and more efficiently than either Martin Marietta or Texas Industries could on a standalone basis.

    Based on the closing stock price for Martin Marietta on January 27, 2014, this consideration would be equivalent to $71.95 of Martin Marietta stock for each Texas Industries share. The exchange ratio represents a 13 percent premium to the average exchange ratio implied by the closing prices of Martin Marietta's and Texas Industries' shares during the last 90 days, and an over 15 percent premium to the exchange ratio implied by the respective closing stock prices on December 12, 2013, the day prior to market speculation of a potential transaction. The transaction reflects an enterprise value of approximately $2.7 billion, including the assumption of $0.7 billion of Texas Industries' debt. Upon closing of the transaction, Martin Marietta shareholders are expected to own approximately 69 percent, and Texas Industries shareholders are expected to own approximately 31 percent, of the combined company. The companies expect the transaction to be immediately accretive to Martin Marietta's earnings per share in 2014, assuming refinancing of Texas Industries' outstanding debt at or around the closing of the merger and excluding one-time costs.

    Ward Nye, Martin Marietta's President and Chief Executive Officer said, "By uniting Martin Marietta's and Texas Industries' complementary assets and leveraging an expanded geographic footprint, we will be even better-positioned to deliver value to our shareholders and customers. Texas Industries' aggregates operations are strategically located in high growth markets and fit well into our existing portfolio, and its cement operations will further diversify our product and customer mix. Through the significant investments Texas Industries has made in plant modernization and capacity expansion, it has achieved leading positions in some of the nation's highest growth markets while maintaining a low cost profile. As a result of this combination, we will be poised to capitalize on the strength of our combined aggregates platform as well as the significant upside potential in the infrastructure, residential and nonresidential construction segments. We are confident that combining our companies will accelerate our ability to increase sales and cash flow and improve margins. We are excited about the opportunities ahead and look forward to quickly realizing the benefits of this transaction."

    Mel Brekhus, Texas Industries' President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Combining with Martin Marietta represents a unique opportunity to create a more competitive company with a solid, diversified portfolio of assets, enhanced credit profile and a strong balance sheet. We are confident that we have found the right partner. This combination will advance our growth objectives, deliver significant value to all of our stakeholders, and allow shareholders to participate in the combined company's potential growth and value creation. In addition, we are pleased that, through this combination, our shareholders will enjoy a strong dividend distribution. This transaction will create a larger, stronger entity with enhanced career and professional development opportunities for employees. I look forward to working closely with Ward and the proven management teams of both companies to complete the transaction quickly and to ensure a smooth transition."

    Strategic and Financial Benefits of Transaction

    The Leader in the U.S. Aggregates Business: Martin Marietta will become the nation's largest producer of construction aggregates, supplying the crushed stone, sand and gravel used to build the roads, sidewalks and foundations on which Americans live. The addition of Texas Industries will add approximately 800 million tons of aggregates reserves, bringing the total to over 13.5 billion tons. Texas Industries shipped nearly 15 million tons of sand, gravel and crushed stone during fiscal year 2013. Texas Industries is a major supplier of aggregates in high-growth markets such as Texas, and has long-focused on the synergies available from operating in aggregates as well as cement and ready-mix.

    Increased Scale, Enhanced Growth Exposure and Vertical Integration in Select Markets: With vertically integrated operations across aggregates and targeted cement, the combined company is expected to be even more competitive. Texas Industries increases Martin Marietta's presence in the Southwest, with state-of-the-art cement production facilities concentrated primarily in Texas and California - two of the largest and fastest growing markets for construction materials in the United States. The increased scale and geographic diversity resulting from this transaction will provide a broader set of opportunities for organic and inorganic growth. In addition, select vertical integration will improve distribution and transportation costs, diversify end-markets and drive other value enhancing efficiencies. The combined company will also have an outstanding asset base that can deliver superior product offerings and service to customers.

    Significant Synergy Opportunities: The transaction is expected to generate approximately $70 million of annual pre-tax synergies by calendar year 2017, which would correspond to over $500 million total value creation for shareholders. Key drivers of these synergies include the consolidation of corporate overhead and duplicate functions, enhanced revenue opportunities and increased operational efficiencies through the adoption of best practices and capabilities from each company.

    Incremental Value Creation through Utilization of NOLs and Potential Real Estate Divestitures: Martin Marietta expects to be able to utilize Texas Industries' more than $400 million in existing NOLs over the next few years. In addition, the companies believe that there is an opportunity to realize incremental value from the expected divestiture of identified non-operating real estate assets.

    Financial Strength and Flexibility: The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Martin Marietta's earnings per share in 2014, assuming refinancing of Texas Industries' outstanding debt at or around the closing of the merger and excluding one-time costs. Martin Marietta expects that at the closing of the merger the combined company will maintain its strong existing credit ratings and have pro forma leverage of less than 3.0 times EBITDA for the 12 months ended December 31, 2014. The combined company will continue to adhere to Martin Marietta's strict operational and financial discipline and, with improved access to capital, will be well-positioned to pursue a wide range of attractive growth opportunities to continue delivering value to shareholders.

    Strong Balance Sheet with Solid Cash Flows and Meaningful Dividend: The combined company will maintain a strong balance sheet with significant cash flow, giving it the ability to pay a meaningful quarterly cash dividend. The combined company intends to maintain the dividend at Martin Marietta's current rate of $1.60 per Martin Marietta share annually, equivalent to $1.12 per Texas Industries share annually, based on the proposed exchange ratio.

    Enhanced Value for Customers: The size and scale of the combined company will enable Martin Marietta to provide even more value for customers. With a collective workforce of approximately 7,000 highly-skilled employees and a shared commitment to providing exceptional construction materials and the best service and solutions, the combined company will be even better equipped to serve its customers and communities.

    Greater Employee Opportunity: This combination creates an even stronger base of talent by uniting two highly-skilled workforces with a strong commitment to serving customers and communities. As part of a stronger, larger company, Martin Marietta and Texas Industries employees will benefit from greater career and professional development opportunities created by this transaction.

    Management, Board Composition and Headquarters

    After the close, the combined company, which will operate under the name Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., will be headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina and will maintain a significant presence in Dallas.

    Ward Nye and the rest of the Martin Marietta executive team will lead the combined company. Top talent across the combined organization will be retained based on a "best athlete" approach.

    An individual jointly selected by Martin Marietta and Texas Industries will be appointed to the Martin Marietta Board of Directors.

    Timeline and Approvals

    The companies anticipate closing the transaction in the second quarter of 2014. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, including expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is also subject to the approval of Martin Marietta and Texas Industries shareholders.

    Texas Industries' two largest shareholders, representing approximately 51 percent of shares outstanding, have agreed to vote all of their shares (or in some limited circumstances, about 35 percent of the outstanding shares) of Texas Industries common stock in favor of the transaction.

    Martin Marietta Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Earnings Results

    In a separate press release issued today, Martin Marietta announced its earnings results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2013.

    Advisors

    J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Barclays are serving as Martin Marietta's financial advisors and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is serving as its legal advisor. Citigroup is serving as Texas Industries' financial advisor, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is serving as its legal advisor.

    Conference Call and Webcast

    Martin Marietta and Texas Industries will host a joint conference call and online web simulcast today, January 28, 2014, at 8:30 am Eastern Time / 7:30 am Central Time to discuss this morning's transaction announcement and Martin Marietta's earnings results for the fourth quarter and full year ending December 31, 2013. It will be streamed live over Martin Marietta's website at www.martinmarietta.com and over Texas Industries' website at www.TXI.com. Interested parties can also access the call by dialing (866) 610-1072 (international: (973) 935-2840), and referencing code 51412630, 10 minutes prior to the start of the call. An online replay will be available approximately two hours following the conclusion of the live broadcast.

    About Martin Marietta Materials, Inc.

    Martin Marietta Materials is the nation's second largest producer of construction aggregates and a producer of magnesia-based chemicals and dolomitic lime. For more information about Martin Marietta Materials, refer to the Corporation's website at www.martinmarietta.com.

    About Texas Industries, Inc.

    TXI is the largest producer of cement in Texas and major cement producer in California. TXI is also a major supplier of construction aggregate, ready-mix concrete and concrete products. For more information about Texas Industries, refer to the Corporation's website at www.txi.com.

    Martin Marietta, Inc.
    Dana Guzzo, 919-783-4540
    Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Chief Information Officer
    or
    Texas Industries, Inc.
    T. Lesley Vines, Jr., 972-647-6722
    Corporate Controller & Treasurer

    Source: Martin Marietta, Inc.
  • 27 Feb 2014 4:32 PM | Amanda Schuster (Administrator)

    Obama seeking $300B for roads
    By Nedra Pickler-Associated Press




    ST. PAUL, Minn. undefined President Obama said Wednesday he will ask Congress for $300 billion to update aging roads and railways, arguing that the taxpayer investment is a worthy one that will pay dividends by attracting businesses and helping put people to work.

    Obama announced his plan at the Union Depot rail and bus station after touring a light rail maintenance facility. Funding for surface transportation programs expires later this year, and the White House says 700,000 jobs could be at risk unless Congress renews them.

    “At a time when companies are saying they intend to hire more people this year, we need to make that decision easier for them,” Obama said, by rebuilding aging transportation systems, power grids, communications networks and other projects that ease commerce.

    “The bottom line is there’s work to be done, workers ready to do it,” he said, adding that one of Congress‘ major responsibilities is to help states and cities pay for such projects.

    Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx warned Wednesday of a “transportation cliff” coming in August or September when the Highway Trust Fund, which finances federal highway and transit projects, is forecast to go broke.

    The trust fund will need an influx of $100 billion over the next six years just to maintain transportation spending levels. But Obama and Congress have been unwilling to raise federal gasoline and diesel fuel taxes that have been the main source of federal transportation funding for decades.
  • 10 Feb 2014 3:03 PM | Amanda Schuster (Administrator)

    Mid-State Materials, LLC wins 2013 Governor’s Mined Land Reclamation Award.



    Topeka, KAN. – Kansas Governor Sam Brownback awarded the 2013 Governor’sMined Land Reclamation Award to Mid-State Materials, LLC of Lecompton, Kan. on January 17, 2014 at the Kansas Aggregate Producers Association meeting in Overland Park, Kan. This award is presented to companies that excel in implementing mined land reclamation and who convey a positive image of mining in Kansas.


    The reclaimed area of Big Spring Quarry covers 50 acres in Western Douglas County. Cole Anderson, Environmental Manager for Mid-State Materials, stated “that the intent of Mid-States Materials reclamation is to return the land to suitable use for agriculture, recreation and wildlife habitat.” A few of the completed projects were wildlife food plots, reintroduction of quail, and the construction of several ponds. 


    Mid-State Materials operates eight quarry locations in Northeast Kansas.  The Big Springs Quarry is a surface mine that extracts aggregate materials from the earth and manufactures high quality materials for the local construction industry. 


    For more information, contact Scott Carlson with the Division of Conservation, Kansas Department of Agriculture at (785) 296-6803 or scott.carlson@kda.ks.gov.
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