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A small county in eastern New Mexico declared itself a “Second Amendment Sanctuary County” on Wednesday in protest of pending gun control legislation in the state.
The Los Angeles County Fair won’t raise entrance prices and will continue to offer popular discounted meal packages — both efforts to increase attendance to the annual summer festival.
The fair’s operator is hoping to build on last year’s 5% visitor increase, which followed a nearly 7% decline…
Marking the eighth year in a row of tourism growth, Los Angeles County hosted an estimated 50 million visitors in 2018, reaching a target milestone two years ahead of schedule.
The tourism record represents a 3.1% increase over 2017’s total of 48.5 million visitors, an increase that has been fueled…
According to reports from media outlet Texas Public Radio, the Chinese mining giant Bitmain Technologies has reportedly suspended operations in the town of Rockdale. Bitmain started to build up its new facility at a former aluminum smelting factory last summer, but since the crypto economy downturn, the company’s operations at the Texas factory have allegedly paused.
Bitmain Reportedly Halts Its Texas Mining Operations
It seems Bitmain has temporarily stopped operations at its Texas facility in the wake of cryptocurrency markets losing significant fiat value over the last few months. According to Texas Public Radio (TPR) and Milam county judge Steve Young, the Rockdale plant used to employ 15 individuals and now the operation is down to five employees manning the factory. Young says he isn’t too pleased that the mining business has paused and hopes the operation will continue. The county official emphasized that the Chinese company had “spent millions thus far to renovate the buildings” and he believes there are 7,000-8,000 mining units dispersed throughout the location.
“I’m really disappointed because we had advertised this, we had waited for this, we had wanted this and we had welcomed this,” Milam county judge Steve Young explained this Friday. “This was huge, we need some positive news here and we need some jobs here — We need a tax base here and this was a step in the right direction.”
The announcement comes after the South China Morning Post reported that Bitmain was in the midst of changing leadership roles. Moreover, the company’s mining operation Antpool was sponsoring the Houston Rockets about 40 miles west of College Station at the Toyota Center. At the time, Bitmain explained that choosing the Rockdale operation was due to certain factors in Texas like a strong economy, population growth, and friendly regulations. The Chinese company was also reportedly getting a tax abatement privileges as well. The abatement would give Bitmain and other technology firms who reside at the former aluminum smelter factory a 10-year tax break.
So Far Bitmain Hasn’t Given Rockdale Officials Any Reason to Worry
Bitmain officials declined to comment on the current status in Rockdale and told TPR in an email that staff reductions were happening across the entire company. “The right-sized team at Rockdale now has the expertise to re-start the project at small scale anytime. Bitmain would like to ramp up the site at a slower pace and scale based on market conditions,” the spokesperson told TPR. Rockdale city manager Chris Whittaker told TPR he is optimistic that the Chinese mining manufacturer will remain in Rockdale.
“I am optimistic that maybe [Bitmain] is reorganizing — They haven’t totally shut down and all those things are encouraging,” said Whittaker.
The city manager continued:
We’re optimistic that future companies are coming to the Alcoa property — This is a valuable asset to the county and it will remain and some company will come here and take advantage of this cheap source of power.
The Milam county judge detailed that Bitmain hasn’t given officials any reason to worry and the corporation has been honest so far. Moreover, Young also noted that Bitmain also pledged to hire locally and help pay school district taxes. Tax abatement deals are not uncommon for startups looking to set up shop in the Texas region, but if a startup cannot fulfill its promises then the tax breaks can be renegotiated by Rockdale officials.
What do you think about Bitmain allegedly suspending its Texas operations? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Paul Flahive of Texas Public Radio, and Pixabay.
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Investigators say an 86-year-old Florida woman fatally beat her 89-year-old husband with a walking cane, reports the AP . Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s officials say Ramona Maxine Lund is charged with murder and is being held in the jail’s infirmary on $ 250,000 bond as authorities work together to evaluate whether…
Federal regulators have accused an Orange County money manager of lying to clients about an investment fund, alleging that investors were told their money would be used to make loans to doctors but that the fund was instead used for loans to a used-car dealership and a mobile-home seller.
A special tribute to fallen officers is on display at the Boone County Sheriff’s Office in Indiana.
Palm Beach County officials said they could still be counting ballots all the way until Christmas in one race.
Two mining companies with operations in Sweden have reportedly abandoned their facilities in the country’s northernmost county of Norrbotten. One of the companies, U.S. miner NGDC, appears to have suddenly fled from the area, leaving $ 1.55 million in unpaid electricity bills in its wake.
US-Based NGDC Bails on $ 1.55M Power Bill
According to Sveriges Radio, Miami-based NGDC ceased operations in the municipality of Älvsbyn after having its power cut by Swedish electricity supplier Vattenfall. NGDC owes 14 million Swedish kronor ($ 1.55 million) to Vattenfall, with the company’s lawyer, Fredrik Sundin, stating that the utility is actively pursuing the matter. “In all judgments, the prospect does not seem so brilliant, but we will do what we can of course,” Sundin said.
Helena Ohlund of the Älvsbyn municipal council stated that the local authorities have been unsuccessful in their attempts to contact NGDC.
Increasing Power Costs Drive Mining Exodus
Another mining company, Chasqui Tech, has reportedly abandoned its plans to establish a bitcoin mining farm in Kalix, Norrbotten county. The municipality is now seeking half a million Swedish kronor ($ 55,000) in unpaid rental fees from the company.
Patrik Ohlund, the chief executive officer of The Node Pole, a data center development hub in Sweden, said that he believes several factors could be driving these sudden departures. He has speculated that the cryptocurrency bear market and a jump in Swedish electricity prices — partly caused by the past summer’s drought — have created “problems” for a number of mining companies with operations in the country.
However, Ohlund remains upbeat about the future prospects of Sweden’s cryptocurrency mining industry. He said that he “would not be surprised to see a doubling” in the number of data centers operating in Sweden. He estimated that there are already roughly 50 such facilities in the country at present.
Last month, London-based MGT Capital Investments also announced that it had entered into a hosting agreement that would see the company relocate approximately 6,300 S9 Antminers that are currently housed in Sweden to a facility in Colorado Springs. Stephen Schaeffer, the chief operating officer of MGT Capital Investments, stated that the company hopes to complete the move and recommence mining at full capacity “before the end of December.”
Do you think that mining companies will continue to leave Sweden? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock
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After some early bumps, more than half of Florida’s 67 counties began recounting votes Sunday in the razor-thin Senate and gubernatorial races, bringing back memories of the 2000 presidential fiasco, the AP reports. In Democratic-leaning Broward County, the scheduled start of the recount was delayed Sunday because of a problem…