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Beyond Tampa Bay for Aug. 13

Photos by Martin Hintz -- TRAVEL -- Cornfields along the Great River Road - SPECIAL

Photos by Martin Hintz -- TRAVEL -- Cornfields along the Great River Road - SPECIAL

Farmers will produce a record-breaking corn harvest this year, surpassing earlier expectations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which on Tuesday revised upward its estimate of this year's corn crop to 14 billion bushels to exceed last year's 13.9 billion bushel record. A bigger crop was expected as adequate rain and cool temperatures made for favorable growing conditions in the 18 states that produce 91 percent of the nation's corn.

A major detroit creditor on Tuesday objected to the bankrupt city's plan to wipe out or reduce billions of dollars in debt, saying it should be scrapped before a trial scheduled to start next week. New York-based Syncora Guarantee said in a court filing that the plan put together by state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr and attorneys hired by the city is unfair, will be too costly to defend, and will ultimately fail. That would "squander a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revitalize one of America's most treasured cities," the filing says.

Record-setting rainfall in the Detroit area has slowed vehicle production and closed some facilities, automakers said Tuesday. General Motors closed its Tech Center in the Detroit suburb of Warren on Tuesday because of flood damage. Four Chrysler plants — one in Detroit and three in the suburbs of Warren and Sterling Heights — were flooded Monday. Ford also slowed production Monday at four suburban Detroit plants in Dearborn, Wayne and Sterling Heights.

tHE $2.3 trILLION market for risky U.S. corporate debt has been under pressure. A five-year rally in junk bonds abruptly stalled last month. As with other higher-risk investments, investors have pulled back mainly because they worry about the Federal Reserve's policy of near-zero interest rates ending. Investors expect the central bank to raise rates sometime next year, and that means the value of bonds currently held in portfolios will fall. Junk, or high-yield, bonds are sold by companies with relatively high debt in comparison to their income.

tHE BOTTOM LINE: Wellpoint said Tuesday that it will change its name to Anthem Inc., the brand associated with most of its popular health plans. . . . Pfizer Inc. is teaming up with DNA testing company 23andMe to study the possible genetic underpinnings of inflammatory bowel disease.

Beyond Tampa Bay for Aug. 13 08/12/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 9:26pm]
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