Austin Live offers more ways to get local news

If you haven’t noticed, the Herald’s website has a unique new feature. Toward the top of our homepage, we have a live blog called Austin Live, a continuous stream for live breaking news, weather and anything going on in and around Austin.

Readers can also interact with Herald reporters, ask questions or report the news themselves. If you see something happening in Austin, this is your chance to report it. And, like everything else on our website, it’s free.

The Herald continues to set the pace with more breaking news — and big stories readers will find here first — than any media source in Austin. This is yet another way for readers to consume local news.

The Herald also continues to be the first to post Austin Packer and other area sports news every night, has as many as 20 calendar events per day — which are free to submit — provides school closings and delays, and features photo galleries, video, blogs, opinion, obituaries, classifieds, and a comment section on every story for reader interaction.

The Herald also offers a free daily news email (look for a link at the top of our site called “Get free news emails”), prizes on Facebook and a live Twitter feed.

Another impressive quarter for Hormel

Hormel Foods Corp. released its second quarter earnings report today, and it was more good news for the Austin-based company. Hormel recorded a 17 percent increase in net earnings and a 3 percent increase in total sales for the quarter, and the company appears to be poised for another record year.

Even when the company reported a drop in net earnings the past two quarters, there was a silver lining; while the company’s first quarter net earnings were down 14 percent from 2011, it was still the second best first quarter in its history.

Hormel’s second quarter earnings have increased steadily every year for four years, from $77.6 million in the second quarter of 2008 to $127.9 million in 2012. And its annual net earnings are equally impressive, as its 2011 numbers were a 20 percent increase from 2010, which was a 15 percent from 2009, which was a 20 percent increase from 2008.

The company appears to have been recession proof, or more accurately, to have even benefited from the poor economy, thanks to its lower priced meats like Spam.

Hormel also reported a higher demand for Spam this quarter, which probably can be attributed to the company’s aggressive marketing campaign with spokescharacter “Sir Can A-Lot,” as the canned meat is celebrating its 75th birthday this year.

Looking forward, Hormel has been touting its relatively new (since 2009) venture MegaMex, and the company is predicting that brand will grow at an accelerated rate, too.

Look for Jennie-O and MegaMex to lead the way as Hormel keeps chugging through the poor economy.

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