Want to keep up with the latest news in lawn care and landscaping? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the green industry.

Overtime Rule Blocked by Judge
On Nov. 22, a federal judge blocked the Department of Labor’s controversial new overtime rule from going into effect on December 1. U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant agreed with 21 states and a coalition of business groups, including the National Association of Landscape Professionals, that the rule is unlawful and granted our motion for a nationwide injunction. The rule, issued by the Labor Department, would have doubled to $47,500 the maximum salary a worker can earn and still be eligible for mandatory overtime pay.

Rick Rodier Named Toro’s Sitework Systems Business VP
The Toro Company has named Rick Rodier vice president of Toro’s Sitework Systems Business, after previously serving as general manager. In his new position, Rodier will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the Sitework Systems Business, in addition to taking a more active role in strategic planning for The Toro Company as part of the executive management team. Rodier has been with Toro since 1987 and has held a variety of operational, marketing and business management roles.

Business Consultant Jeffrey Scott Offering Free Webinar Series
Landscape business consultant Jeffrey Scott is offering a free 3-part webinar series. Over the course of the series, Jeffrey will interview 10 of our most successful entrepreneurs. Learn how to duplicate their success and achieve a breakout year in 2017 and beyond. After the webinars have taken place, a recording will be made available for review or in case you missed one. Registration is available online. The webinar series includes: Build a High Profit Brand & Culture – January 10, 2017; Dominate Your Market Place – January 17, 2017; and Create a Business That Runs Itself – January 24, 2017.

Kubota Tripling the Size of its National Distribution Center
Kubota Tractor Corporation is building a 617,865 square-foot expansion of its National Distribution Center in Jefferson, Georgia. The project is adjacent to the Kubota Industrial Equipment facility off of I-85 North. Scheduled for completion in July 2017, the expansion represents a $16 million investment by the company. In January 2017, KMA in nearby Gainesville, Kubota will start production at its new 502,000 square-foot plant to increase production of Kubota’s RTV-Series utility vehicles.

JCB Donates Equipment for Hurricane Matthew Clean-up
JCB North America has made equipment available including a 3CX backhoe loader and a 437 wheel loader, together valued at over $300,000 to assist with local clean-up efforts in the Savannah area, which sustained significant damage from Hurricane Matthew in early October. Preliminary estimates say that the hurricane caused nearly $100 million worth of property damage in the state of Georgia alone.

A Maryland County Votes Down Playground Pesticide Ban
The Anne Arundel County Council on Monday narrowly rejected legislation that would have banned pesticide spraying on county playgrounds, reports the Baltimore Sun. Council members voted 4-3 against Bill 76-16, which sought to require the county’s Recreation and Parks department to control playground weeds and pests through non-chemical means. The bill encountered opposition from county administration, who said prohibiting chemicals altogether on playgrounds increase costs and make their upkeep too hard to manage for already overextended staff.

Read last week’s industry news here: Ariens to Sell Stens and JThomas, Lawsuit Challenges Lawn Care Ban