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BUSINESS
September 25, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia-based farm-labor contractor failed to pay minimum wages to 125 temporary nursery workers, according to a lawsuit filed against the contractor by the U.S. Department of Labor. The workers, employed by Heng Heng Agency Inc. and its president, Visith Oum, cultivated nursery stock at Medford Nursery Inc. in Medford, the department said. A nursery official was unavailable for immediate comment, and a phone number for Heng Heng was inoperative. "Visith Oum, who has served as the farm labor contractor in this case, has a history of labor law violations and employs vulnerable South Asian and Hispanic workers in the Philadelphia area," said Charlene Rachor, director of the U.S. Labor Department's Southern New Jersey District Office.
BUSINESS
September 24, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Drinker Biddle & Reath L.L.P. said Monday that CEO and chairman Alfred W. Putnam Jr. will be succeeded by Andrew C. Kassner, effective Feb. 1. Kassner, who has been serving as executive partner at the firm and who has been deeply involved in its management for years, is one of Drinker's top bankruptcy and restructuring partners. "Andy was the natural choice," said Putnam. "He has been our executive partner, with extensive management responsibilities, for almost a decade, and our partners see him as an effective leader with the experience and expertise to guide the firm going forward.
NEWS
September 24, 2014 | By Joseph A. Gambardello, Inquirer Staff Writer
Greenlee Partners suspended one of its top lobbyists Monday after his weekend arrest on sexual assault charges. Police said Andrew J. Marsico, 40, is charged with indecent, simple, and aggravated assault, unlawful restraint, and related offenses in stemming from an August incident in Center City involving a 27-year-old woman. He was arrested Saturday and released after posting $100,000 bail. In a statement Monday, Greenlee, which is based in Harrisburg, said Marsico, a senior associate, had been placed on administrative leave.
BUSINESS
September 20, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
They say it is good to be king. It might be better, though, to be a very successful trial lawyer. Thomas R. Kline, who unveiled a $50 million gift to the Drexel University law school on Wednesday, and Shanin Specter, his partner at Kline & Specter P.C., would seem to fit that description. From its founding in 1995, the firm has grown to 35 lawyers and 115 employees overall, the largest personal-injury law firm in Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the country. The firm is known for big-ticket, emotional cases, and devotes considerable time to screening matters before agreeing to represent a client, with three staff members, a nurse, and two lawyers, one with a nursing degree, doing the intake.
BUSINESS
September 15, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
How do you get a giant creature named after you? The world's largest dinosaur, Dreadnoughtus schrani - Schran's Fearless - honors Adam Schran , founder of a Philadelphia software firm, who looks and sounds as if he is still a student at brainy Haverford College, where he graduated in 1998. Schran's name was pinned on by the dinosaur's discoverer, the rugged, precise scholar Schran calls "Dr. Ken. " That would be Drexel paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara , whose team found fossil bones of the 65-ton creature in Argentina's barren Patagonia region, shipped them home to Philly, and put scholars to work decoding them in his top-floor lab at Papadakis Hall.
NEWS
September 11, 2014
C ARL WHITE, 46, of Bristol Borough, is CEO of Think Brownstone, an experience design firm he co-founded in 2007 with Brian McIntire, 38, of Downingtown. The Conshohocken firm opened an office in July on 15th Street near Sansom, in Center City. Fifteen of the firm's 50 employees relocated there. Q: Why'd you decide to put an office in Center City? A: We needed new space to attract talent as well as retain the talent we had. We also had more clients in Philadelphia that we didn't have before.
BUSINESS
September 10, 2014 | By Diane Mastrull, Inquirer Staff Writer
The list is long of the perfect accompaniments to beer: hot dogs, pizza, peanuts, and pretzels, to name just a few. Most definitely not on that list: pediococcus and lactobacillus. Consider them beer buzzkills. These are types of bacteria that often hitch a ride into breweries aboard grain. If they make their way into the beer itself, they can spoil taste by producing lactic acid, a chemical compound most commonly associated with sore muscles after exertion and first refined in 1780 from sour milk.
BUSINESS
September 9, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Barry Ersek was a precocious lawn-care magnate. Steve Lange was a self-taught plant scientist at a Delaware bank that wanted brighter gardens. With 35 employees, they now run Holganix (as in holistic organics ), a Glen Mills company that manufactures liquid compost-starter - their brew of fermented, pasteurized and refrigerated sugars, bacteria and yeast - plus cooling units, jugs and applicators to spread it on lawns, farms and ballfields. Sales to NFL teams, Ivy League colleges, and landscaping services that want to use less chemical fertilizer and pest-killer nearly tripled in each of the last three years, to $4.4 million, landing Holganix on this year's Inc. 500 list of fast-growing U.S. firms.
BUSINESS
September 7, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Latitude 360 Inc., a Jacksonville, Fla., company that reportedly wants to build a $20 million entertainment complex in Atlantic City, completed a merger in June that made it a publicly traded company. That could be a good thing. But Latitude 360's first quarterly report with the Securities and Exchange Commission painted an ugly financial picture. The company said it had $93 million in accumulated losses and a $23 million deficit in working capital, a key measure of short-term financial health.
BUSINESS
September 7, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement gave online gambling company Betfair Interactive US L.L.C. permission to intervene in writing in proceedings on the closing of Trump Plaza on Sept. 16. Betfair, which is based in London, England, is Trump Plaza's online gaming partner and will be able to continue operating until the Trump Plaza license is revoked, but may need to find a new bricks-and-mortar casino partner to keep operating in New Jersey thereafter. Betfair's attorney said in an Aug. 25 letter to regulators that Trump officials have not responded to any requests for information about the closing.
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