News in brief


Bridgestone plansTennessee project

Bridgestone Americas Inc. announced Thursday a $550 million investment to expand and modernize its truck and bus radial tire plant in Morrison, Tenn.

Bridgestone will add 380 new jobs and expand the plant’s existing footprint by 850,000 square feet. The expansion will increase capacity and also allow for new technologies, according to the company.

For example, according to Bridgestone, all tires made in Morrison will be equipped with radio frequency identification tags and tire-mounted sensors designed to help companies with fleet management. Other changes to the plant will help the company reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, according to the company.

The expansion of the 32-year-old facility is expected to begin before the end of this year and be substantially completed by May 2024.

Morrison is about 75 miles southeast of Nashville in Warren County.

— The Associated Press

T-Mobile to connect to SpaceX satellites

Elon Musk’s SpaceX and T-Mobile are teaming up in an attempt to connect mobile devices through a network of satellites, providing coverage to even the most isolated places.

Under the plan, T-Mobile’s wireless network would be routed through SpaceX Starlink satellites that are in low Earth orbit.

T-Mobile said that the vast majority of smartphones already on its network will be compatible with the new service using the device’s existing radio.

The companies are looking to provide text coverage, including SMS, MMS and participating messaging apps, nearly everywhere in the continental U.S., Hawaii, parts of Alaska, Puerto Rico and territorial waters starting with a beta in select areas by the end of next year. They want to add voice and data coverage at a later time.

T-Mobile and SpaceX say they are ready to work with other carriers to help expand the service worldwide.

“The important thing about this is that it means there’s no dead zones anywhere in the world for your cellphone,” Elon Musk said during a live event at a SpaceX facility in Texas.

The billionaire and Tesla chief executive officer, who is engaged in a legal battle with Twitter, emphasized that one of the key benefits of the service will be that it can help people who are in life threatening situations in remote areas, potentially saving lives.

Shares of T-Mobile fell $4.05, or 2.75%, to close Friday at $143.02.

— The Associated Press

State index loses 25.31 for the day

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Friday at 824.01, down 25.31. The index is up 4.55% this year.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

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