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Movers & Shakers December 8, 2010

| December 8, 2010 8:00 PM

Hecla declares

preferred dividends

COEUR d'ALENE - Hecla Mining Company on Tuesday declared a regular quarterly dividend of 87 cents per share on the outstanding Series B Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock and the final quarterly dividend of $1.62 per share on the outstanding 6.5 percent Mandatory Convertible Preferred Stock.

The dividend on 157,816 shares outstanding of the Series B stock represents a total amount to be paid of about $138,000.

The Board of Directors also elected to declare the dividend on the Mandatory Convertible Preferred Stock - a total of 2,012,500 shares outstanding - for about $3.27 million.

Quest Aircraft Co.

to furlough workers

SANDPOINT - Quest Aircraft Co. will furlough all except a handful of the airplane manufacturer's 120 employees for three weeks beginning next Tuesday.

Quest CEO Paul Shaller said this wasn't the way he wanted to end an already turbulent 2010. "We are going to end up manufacturing 14 planes this year when I really wanted to do three times that," he said.

Quest had four rounds of layoffs this year and continues to be in the middle of an economic storm. "We are going to spend this time looking at financial recapitalization, new investors, etc.," he said. "The economy looks pretty flat for us but we are looking for opportunities internationally and with the government and corporations."

Quest had 345 employees when it opened in 2005. Quest has produced 46 Kodiak aircraft from its Sandpoint Airport facility. The million-dollar specialty airplanes have flown all over the world - including some of the most remote areas of the planet.

Employees will come back to work on Jan. 3. A few workers will remain at the plant for customer service during the furlough.

Utilities want PUC to tackle alt power rules

BOISE (AP) - Big utilities want Idaho to tighten rules they say now allow alternative energy producers - especially wind farms - to take advantage of the existing system to accelerate development and reap higher prices for their electricity.

Idaho Power Co., Avista and PacifiCorp are asking the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to investigate the consequences of big energy developers breaking up huge projects into closely linked sites, in order to qualify for attractive rates.

The three contend a proliferation of such projects by big companies is straining transmission systems.

The utilities want the PUC to temporarily require projects to be 100 kilowatts or less, down from 10 megawatts now, in order to qualify for special rates.

There's a Jan. 27 hearing.

If you have a new, relocated or expanded business, or announcement of events, promotions or awards, The Press wants to let our readers know. The service is free and items run Tuesday through Saturday. To get the word on the street on your movers and shakers, call city editor Bill Buley at 664-8176 Ext. 2016 or e-mail bbuley@cdapress.com.

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