Cardinal Employee Found Dead on Christmas
at Portage Plant
Thomas E. Roche, 55, of Portage, Wis., an employee at Cardinal Glass
Industries' Portage, Wis., plant, was found dead early Christmas morning
in the plant's yard area, says Detective Lt. Mark Hahn of the City of
Portage Police Department.
"We dispatched around 2:45 a.m., because the plant manager called
911 to say that the employee was not seen for a couple of hours and was
later found in the yard area," he says. "He was dead when we
Three men from the police department, representatives from the medical
examiner's office, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
and the Emergency Medical Service responded to the call.
Roche died as a result of an industrial accident at the plant, according
to a December 27 Portage Police Department news release.
Police investigation revealed that Roche was working in a remote area
of the outdoor yard, "disposing of large sheets of glass when it
appears that they had fallen on him," according to the release.
Medical examiners performed an autopsy on December 27, and preliminary
results showed that Roche suffered severe multiple internal injuries that
were consistent with the scene.
No further investigation is anticipated by the Portage Police Department
as no foul play is suspected, according to the release. OSHA, however,
continues to investigate the case. "Since it's an open case, we can't
make any comments," says Chad Greenwood, assistant area director
for OSHA's Madison, Wis., area office.
At press time, calls to Cardinal's headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn.,
and the Portage plant had not been returned.
Roche worked at the Portage plan for roughly 16 years, Hahn says, "ever
since the company has been in business here."
ASI Ltd. has suspended operations at its Whitestown, Ind., facility, according
to a December 30 notice from ASI owner Ken Smith. "Management is
currently reviewing its financial viability moving forward," according
to the notice. "It is hopeful that we can re-commence operations
sometime in the near future."
"The employees went in on Thursday [December 22], and were told that
they were shutting down," says Mike Halstead, a former general foreman
of ASI. "I talked to a couple of people on the field and in management."
The company building has been barricaded off with a fork-lift on one end
and a mobile crane on the other, Halstead says.
"They can't take trailers out of there anymore," he says.
ASI employed approximately about 30 people in the office and more than
100 on the field, Halstead estimates.
ASI was listed in the 2011 USGlass Book of Lists (see March 2011 USGlass,
page 30) as the country's sixth largest glazing contractor based on a
2010 sales revenue of $65.2 million.
AGC to Shut Down Line at Kingsport, Lay Off People
AGC Glass Co. North America of Alpharetta, Ga., will lay off more than
100 people at its Kingsport plant, says Chris Correnti, chief counsel
for AGC. The plant employs about 300 people and produces primarily solar
"The K1 line will shut down at that plant, but the second furnace
will continue to operate, as will some of the ancillary operations there,
like tempering," Correnti says. Whether the laid-off employees would
be offered positions at other plants had not been determined at press
The primary reason behind shutting down the K1 line is that "the
solar business has been reducing, and is being taken over by Chinese suppliers
that offer products at cheaper prices," Correnti says. "So,
there's not much demand for our product. The solar industry worldwide
is in a significant slowdown. Combine that with the bulk of Chinese imports
and it's a pretty tough business right now."
As a company, AGC America planned for these contingencies, Correnti says.
"Hopefully, the architectural market will improve some next year
and so will the solar market, so this particular decision will not have
any more impact than anticipated," he says.
"We're still expecting to rebuild that line in the not so distant
future, as the solar market picks up, hopefully in the next couple of
years," Correnti says. "It's a temporary, unfortunate situation."
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