Tonight: Increasing clouds with a low near 43.
Friday (Halloween): Mostly cloudy and becoming windy. Scattered light showers as well. An afternoon ... More...
Wacker Plant Hit With Lawsuit
At least 10 people, who completed a year-and-half-long program at the Wacker Institute, are now suing the Wacker-Chemie company. They claim they were promised a job, but were never able to start work or get a paycheck. They say they were supposed to start this past April.
"It wasn't just that I was let down, but I also let down my family," says graduate James Loemker.
Loemker has a wife and kids. He's like many who graduated from the Wacker Institute.
"A lot of us took out loans, some of us were sleeping in our cars," says Loemker.
They were hoping to work as chemical operators at the Wacker plant in Charleston, Tennessee making polysilicon.
The employee offer letter says if they finished the program, the students would be given a job at the plant - but that never happened.
"When it came time to hold up their end, they told us it'll be years basically don't call us, we'll call you," says Loemker.
Court records we obtained Thursday say the students were promised an annual salary of about $50,000 and a signing bonus of $3,000.
"I bought a house in Cleveland. I moved from East Ridge, I took out loans, I ended my career that I had for 7 years with another local employer," says Michael Bridges.
Wacker released a statement Thursday saying, "Throughout our 100-year history, Wacker has demonstrated a strong commitment to our people, to the environment, and to society. Our products, as well as our internal policies and procedures, reflect this fundamental commitment. We want to assure the community that Wacker remains committed to our investment in Bradley County, and our employment goals to support economic growth in the region through construction and operation of our facility. Wacker has always been a flexible, market oriented company, and in this instance, we had to adjust our construction timeline and our growth strategy due to the prevailing global economic and market conditions facing the polysilicon industry. Although we were able to preserve the jobs of our employees, we were unable to offer employment to the students at the present time. Nonetheless, we remain confident that the skills and education these students gained during their advanced technical training at Chattanooga State Community College will be of future value and can benefit them greatly, whether they ultimately join the Wacker Team, or whether their careers take them elsewhere. “
Wacker says the plant in Charleston opens in 2015. Wacker wouldn't comment when we asked if there are classes happening right now at the Wacker Institute. But, a Chattanooga state employee told us there is still chemical engineering classes offered at the college.
By Jerry Askin
More Business News
Last Update on October 30, 2014 07:33 GMT
ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Labor Department will report today on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. Economists forecast that weekly applications declined 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 281,000.
Also today, the Commerce Department will release third-quarter gross domestic product figures. Many economists predict that overall growth of the economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, reached a healthy 3 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter, according to a survey by data firm FactSet.
Freddie Mac will report on average mortgage rates for this week. Last week, the average for the 30-year loan slid to 3.92 percent.
There are four major companies that will report earnings today.
Altria Group and Mastercard will report quarterly financial results before the market opens.
Starbucks and LinkedIn Corp. will report quarterly earnings after the closing bell.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Samsung Electronics Co. says its third-quarter income has plunged 49 percent to the lowest level in nearly three years as its handset business slows down.
Samsung says its net income for the July-September quarter was 4.2 trillion won ($4 billion), a sharp decline from 8.2 trillion won a year earlier. The income was the lowest since 2012 but above market expectations. Analysts polled by Factset expected 3.7 trillion won income.
Sales fell 20 percent to 47.4 trillion won while operating income shrank 60 percent to 4.1 trillion won.
Samsung warned earlier this month that its handset profit declined despite a marginal shipment increase. Analysts said the Galaxy S5 smartphone launched in April did not sell well while many consumers held off upgrading their phones, instead waiting for new iPhones.
BEIJING (AP) -- China's Cabinet says it will ease restrictions on credit card processing in a move that might help to resolve a lengthy dispute with the United States over access for Visa, Mastercard and other foreign competitors.
A Cabinet announcement said "all qualified domestic and overseas enterprises" will be allowed to apply to set up credit card clearing operations. It gave no details of what qualifications would be required for a foreign competitor to be approved.
Beijing's restrictions have given a near-monopoly on credit card processing to a state-owned entity, UnionPay.
The World Trade Organization ruled two years ago the restrictions treated foreign competitors unfairly. The government said it would review the decision but did little to increase market access.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton received 116 million shares of Facebook stock currently worth nearly $9 billion when they sold their mobile messaging service to the social networking leader earlier this month.
The breakdown of the big winners in Facebook Inc.'s $22 billion acquisition emerged Wednesday in a regulatory filing.
Koum, a Ukraine immigrant who was once living on welfare, reaped the biggest jackpot with 76.4 million Facebook shares now worth $5.8 billion. That makes him Facebook's fourth largest stockholder behind company CEO Mark Zuckerberg and two mutual funds, Fidelity Management and Vanguard.
Acton, who worked with Koum when they were both Yahoo Inc. engineers, owns 39.7 million Facebook shares worth $3 billion.
More than 45 other WhatsApp current and former employees also received Facebook stock.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- For-profit colleges that don't produce graduates capable of paying off their student loans could soon face the wrath of the federal government.
Schools with career-oriented programs that fail to comply with the new rule being announced today by the Obama administration stand to lose access to federal student-aid programs.
To meet these "gainful employment" standards, a program will have to show that the estimated annual loan payment of a typical graduate doesn't exceed 20 percent of discretionary income, or 8 percent of total earnings.
The Education Department estimates that about 1,400 programs serving 840,000 students won't pass. Nearly all of these programs are offered by for-profit schools.
SUPREME COURT-HEALTH OVERHAUL-SUBSIDIES
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Supreme Court justices have their first chance this week to decide whether they have the appetite for another major fight over President Barack Obama's health care law.
Some of the same players who mounted the first failed effort to kill the law altogether now want the justices to rule that subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people afford their premiums under the law are illegal.
The challengers are appealing a unanimous ruling of a three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, that upheld Internal Revenue Service regulations that allow health-insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act for consumers in all 50 states. The appeal is on the agenda for the justices' private conference on Friday, and word of their action could come as early as Monday.
DETROIT (AP) -- The U.S. government's auto safety agency, responding to criticism of its slow response to safety issues, has told the manufacturer of millions of potentially faulty air bags to make replacement parts faster and do more testing to find the cause of the problem.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent letters Wednesday to Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. and 10 automakers seeking information in a widening air bag recall that now covers almost 8 million U.S. vehicles.
The vehicles are equipped with Takata air bags that can potentially inflate with too much force, blowing apart metal canisters and sending shards flying at drivers and passengers. Safety advocates say four people have died due to the problem.
The Good LifeCelebrating the events, adventures and activities that represent "The Good Life" in the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
SideroadsTake a ride with Brian Smith to explore the unique people and places to be found along the Sideroads of the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
Road TrippinCome Road Trippin' with us and see all the great sites in your area!
Closings and DelaysThese are the latest School and Business Closings reported to NewsChannel 9. If you see errors or need to add a school or business, call 423-757-7320.
This N ThatLearn about the latest in community affairs and great events with Brian Smith on This 'N That.
Educator of the WeekNominate now for Educator Of The Week!
Deaf & Hard of HearingInformation provided to NewsChannel 9 by members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.
Sponsored EventsCheck Back Often for NewsChannel9 Sponsored Events!