Thursday AM April 26th, 2007

Prepared 4 Life to prepare future business leaders with Lemonade Day...AFL-CIO says more Hispanics killed on the job in Texas in 2005 than any other state...Dell founder and CEO to announce new initiative focused on Spanish-speaking customers...

Prepared 4 Life is helping Houston middle school students become future business leaders with an event called Lemonade Day on Sunday, May 6th. Thousands of lemonade stands are expected to go up around the greater Houston area in an exercise that will make money, but also teach life skills, according to Michael Holthouse, president and co-founder of Prepared 4 Life.

"What Prepared 4 Life really focuses on is life skills, character education and entrepreneurship. But any business, you have to set some goals. You have to have a vision of what it is that you want to take place. And so, buried inside of doing Lemonade Day is for kids to decide, ‘well, what is it that I want, what am I willing to do for that, how can I put in some effort in the short term?' So there are some real life lessons in here. So our partner, HISD--we've been closely working with them to come up with the kind of life skills and character and entrepreneurial programs, which is Prepared 4 Life. And we're doing that. Last year we were in three schools, this year we're in six. We'll be in 12 schools next year."

Holthouse says kids are encouraged to secure their own investors, create their own stands and design marketing materials.

"And it's this whole experience from finding an investor and borrowing some money--knowing full well they're going to have to pay that back, with interest--to doing ‘what are the items they need, what is the budgeting, what's the best site selection for them—where are they going to find the most people to sell lemonade—determining what their costs are, how are they going to do advertising?' All the way to the end, where they open their own savings account where they spend part of the money that they make and they save part of it in order to be their own investor in the future."

Students can register online at and download information about organizing the stand, or get information at Amegy Bank.

More Hispanics were killed on the job in Texas in 2005 than any other state. That's according to a study released by the AFL-CIO, which used federal labor statistics in its report titled "Death on the Job." The report says of the 923 Hispanic workers killed nationwide in 2005, 200 were from Texas. Texas had a high number of immigrants killed on the job, too--135 foreign-born workers were killed in 2005 in Texas, second only to California. Federal statistics don't identify an immigrant's status. The union used the report to criticize the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for what it says are lax penalties and too few federal inspectors. Nationwide, 1,035 immigrant workers were killed on the job, up from 956 in 2004. Texas had 50 more Hispanic deaths in 2005 than the year before, according to the report.

ExxonMobil says it reduced greenhouse gas emissions in 2006 by about eight million tons, according to the Houston Business Journal. The Irving-based energy giant spoke of its emission reduction efforts at the three-day International Engineered Fabrics Conference and Expo in Miami. The company says reductions came from improved energy efficiencies at its refineries and chemical plants. ExxonMobil's chemical division is based in Houston. ExxonMobil says the reduction is roughly equivalent to removing 1.5 million care from U.S. roads.

Noble Energy plans to abandon the first of six to eight planned wells in West Africa, according to the Houston Business Journal. The Adriana Southwest prospect off the coast of Equatorial Guinea was drilled to 12,638 feet before the Houston-based company decided to cap it and move on. A Noble drill ship will tap a second location—the Benita prospect—within days.

The General Services Administration has chosen Electronic Data Systems to supply new identification cards for federal employees and contractors. The deal is worth $66 million to the Plano-based computer and technological services contractor. It's part of a multi billion-dollar program to issue ID cards that use digital technology, such as biometrics. They'd go to all federal employees and contractors by October 2008. The EDS deal was confirmed by an industry source with knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it hadn't been publicly announced. Stanford group analyst Jeremy Grant issued an investor research note, predicting that GSA would announce EDS as its choice. An EDS spokesman declined to comment, and a GSA spokeswoman didn't immediately return a call for comment. Earlier this year, GSA said the winning bidder would have to begin issuing cards within 90 days of the award. The base period on the contract would run through September 30th and include four one-year options through 2011.

Computer-maker Acer Incorporated is recalling about 27,000 laptop batteries. It's the latest company to warn of faulty Sony-made lithium-ion batteries that could overheat and cause a fire. More than ten million notebook batteries have been recalled worldwide since the problem was traced to Sony last year. Other major computer makers, including Dell, Lenovo and Apple have also issued similar recalls. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has logged dozens of reports of lithium-ion batteries overheating. Acer says none of the known incidents involved its laptop models, but that it's going ahead with a recall. The affected Acer models were sold in the U.S. and Canada from May 2004 through November 2006. Acer says consumers should immediately stop using the recalled batteries and contact the company for a free battery replacement. Acer says the laptops can still be safely used if powered by the AC adapter. The laptops possibly containing the recalled batteries were the Travelmate series with four-digit model numbers beginning with 242, 320, 321, 330, 422, 467, 561, c20, and the Aspire series beginning with model numbers 556, 560, 567, 930, 941, 980.

Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell will announce a new initiative focused on Spanish-speaking customers during a keynote address next Tuesday at Endeavor's Entrepreneurs' Summit in Miami. The event draws entrepreneurs from Latin America, South Africa and Turkey. Endeavour guides new companies in emerging markets with strategic advice, access to key networks and other tools.

The George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University is getting an $8.3 million facelift. The renovation will add new exhibits and technologies to the museum. One planned addition includes a replica of the White House situation room that Bush used in planning the 1991 Persian Gulf War. A grand reopening of the museum is planned for November 10th. The museum will remain open until then, although the main exhibit will be closed.

Houstonian Mary Mead is a Top Ten finalist for the 2007 OfficeTeam Administrative Excellence Award. The staff assistant to the president at Houston-based ExxonMobil Exploration Company was chosen as one of ten finalists out of more than 200 nominations submitted from across the United States.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...