BLACKSBURG, VA – SEPTEMBER 30: A general view of Lane Stadium prior to the game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and Clemson Tigers on September 30, 2017 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)Lawsuits happen in college football, but here is one you never see. A newspaper is suing one of its former employees for ownership of his Twitter account.According to a new report from Richmond.com, the Roanoke Times filed suit against Andy Bitter in U.S. District Court on Tuesday morning. The outcome of the suit will determine whether or not Bitter, a former Virginia Tech reporter for the paper, owns his Twitter account (@AndyBitterVT).Bitter left the Roanoke Times earlier this year to join The Athletic. The suit claims that Bitter was asked to cede control of his account over to the paper, but has refused to do so.Here are some more details:The lawsuit cites the precedent that Bitter had inherited the handle from the previous reporter, Kyle Tucker, and that Bitter signed acknowledgement of the company handbook which stated that the account was company property. At the time Tucker handed the account over to Bitter, the paper was a part of Landmark Media Enterprises. It was sold to BH Media in 2013.According to the lawsuit, the account was created in Aug. 2010 by Tucker, who was with the Virginian-Pilot at the time, and was handed over to Bitter in Oct. 2011. Bitter transitioned to The Roanoke Times after the paper was sold by Landmark to BH Media.This suit sets an interesting precedent, especially with how often reporters change jobs. It will be interesting to see how the ruling impacts future practices between reporters and the outlets that employ them.This is why my handle has never included anything about an employer or anything else. If somebody took me to court, I could quote Marlo Stanfield: My name is my name. https://t.co/AczkSFQL1f— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) August 7, 2018Considering Tucker created the account, and later turned it over, it seems the Roanoke Times has a good case.
The formal opening of FLSmidth’s expanded facilities at its Delmas Supercenter in Mpumalanga the company says is good news for customers, while boosting the engineering capability of the South African economy. According to Stephan Kruger, FLSmidth Director for Manufacturing and Warehousing in the region, the added capacity of the facility will further contribute to the group’s productivity and customer service while improving stock availability and lead times.The facility is now double the size it was a year ago, with a total of 10,500 m2 under roof and under crane. The workshop is one of fewer than 10% of facilities countrywide that boasts a 120 t lifting capacity with 11.5 m under crane hook. “The expansion is aligned with our corporate mission to provide sustainable productivity enhancements for our customers,” says Kruger. “It raises our engineering capability to support local customers, while also improving our efficiencies to compete globally in certain lines of products.”The Delmas facility engineers components for FLSmidth equipment, as well as whole assemblies and complete equipment. The addition of new manufacturing equipment in the workshop – including CNC-controlled six axis machines – will increase the range of items that can be machined on site. The work process has also been optimised to promote quality, reliability, efficiency and cost effectiveness.The facility’s services include refurbishment, retrofitting and upgrading of existing equipment. It also holds substantial strategic stocks of spare parts such as exciter gearboxes, rotors and stators, as well as wear parts such as screen panels.“The FLSmidth Delmas Supercenter is a world class OEM facility that consolidates and grows specialist expertise within the South African market, creating exciting opportunities for the future,” says Kruger. “This expansion is a vote of confidence in the specialised knowledge imbedded in this facility, which makes an important contribution to sustaining technical skill levels in South Africa.”He emphasises the company’s commitment to safety, reflected in the Supercenter’s enviable record of just one lost-time injury since operations began over five years ago. Strict quality control is governed through the ISO 9001 standard and careful environmental management by ISO 14001 with safety to OHSAS 18001.“FLSmidth’s commitment to continuous improvement is also embodied in this facility,” he says. “We are now in an even better position to play a role in value engineering for the group, particularly in our vibrating equipment and screens.”In line with the company’s corporate social responsibility, the construction activities last year reached out to local small businesses, he adds. Some 5% of the value of the total budgeted spend was allocated to these firms, ensuring that they benefitted directly from the expansion.