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Local
Faraday Future executive visits Hanford

HANFORD — After announcing plans to locate an electric car manufacturing facility in Hanford, Faraday Future has been relatively mum about definite plans; but one of the car company’s executives paid a visit to Hanford Thursday to give an update on the company.

Dag Reckhorn, Faraday Future’s senior vice president of global manufacturing, talked to members at the Rotary Club of Hanford’s noon meeting Thursday about the company before answering questions from the audience.

Faraday Future signed a lease in August to locate a manufacturing facility in the old Pirelli tire plant. The company immediately hosted a clean-up event to prepare the 1 million square-foot new site for the move-in of manufacturing equipment.

The facility is supposed to be used to manufacture the company’s first electronic vehicle, the FF 91, and hopefully bring it to market.

Reckhorn is in charge of developing the company’s global manufacturing strategy and overseeing all the manufacturing plans, including the construction planning process of the Hanford facility.

Reckhorn admitted that the company has been in the press for both good and bad things, but hoped to show those in the audience that Faraday Future has big plans for Hanford.

“Faraday is not just a car company. What we want to do is something different,” Reckhorn said. “Yes, we have a car, but we want to be a global mobility company.”

Reckhorn said everything the company does is about making life more connected, intuitive and convenient. The most important thing he said the company wants to do is allow people to “live, move and breathe more freely.”

The cars the company wants to build will use clean energy, artificial intelligence and the internet, Reckhorn said. These cars include autonomous driving capabilities and be attuned to the people sitting in the car, from music to travel destinations, he said.

Reckhorn said the car will have three electric motors capable of 1,050 horsepower and go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.39 seconds. He said the battery will have 130 kilowatt hours that takes the car 378 miles, and be charged using a 110-volt outlet.

The leadership team at Faraday Future is fairly new, including COO/CFO Stefan Krause, who is the former CFO of both Deutsche Bank and BMW Global, and CTO Ulrich Kranz, former senior vice president at BMW.

Reckhorn said right now the company is focused on installing all the necessary equipment inside the plant in order to manufacture the cars.

In a presentation to the Rotary Club, Reckhorn showed the flow of the assembly line that will be inside the facility, from body assembly to paint. He said various tests will also be performed inside the plant to make sure the car is ready for the road.

The timeline for when the manufacturing facility will be operation is tentative, Reckhorn said. He said there are a few things the company needs to do before coming to Hanford.

First, Reckhorn said the company must obtain certain permits, including conditional use permits from the city, which he is in town to do.

Secondly, the company has to confirm funding. Reckhorn said he knows the company has been in the press concerning funding issues in the past, but said they have learned from their mistakes and are working on those issues.

In June, Faraday Future dropped out of building a $1 billion, 3-million square-foot facility in Las Vegas amid financial issues.

“We have a very good, capable CFO with Stefan, and he is getting us the money,” Reckhorn said. “That’s the most important thing for me.”

When asked why the company chose to come to Hanford, Reckhorn said the reasons include highway access between San Francisco and Los Angeles, two large electronic vehicle markets, and because there was already an existing plant here.

“I wish I could turn the time back,” Reckhorn said. “Then we would’ve come here two years ago.”

Thirdly, Reckhorn said the company is working on customer demand; because without people to buy the cars, the company can’t create jobs. He said he couldn’t give firm numbers on when or how many people the company is hiring, but said it will definitely be “hundreds of people for sure.”

When asked if local people will be hired, Reckhorn said some of the employees will be brought in from other places, but local employees will also be hired and trained to work there.

“We need local people, for sure,” Reckhorn said.

A spokesman for Faraday Future told the Sentinel in an email Tuesday that work is expected to “ramp-up” on site in late November, following the move out of current tenants. Both city of Hanford and Kings County officials have expressed excitement and hope that the company will come to Hanford and create job growth.


Local
Lemoore High will perform 'The Jungle Book'

LEMOORE — The Lemoore High School Players will take on the adaptation of “The Jungle Book” by Joseph Robinette from Rudyard Kipling’s “The Mowgli Stories” Oct. 2-4 in the LHS Auditorium.  

Each show will begin at 7 p.m. with two other additional shows on Oct. 5 and 6 that will be during school hours to host elementary students. General admission costs $6; those attending with an ASB card $5; card holders of the LHS purple card will pay $3; and LHS gold card holders will get in for free.

The play itself is a student-run production with students directing and acting in it. Seniors Leilani Perkins and Victoria Scribner are first-time directors although they have participated and acted in various other productions throughout the years.

They began preparing for the show during the summer by thinking of a play that would be entertaining for young students and for the public.

“We read various scripts on so many children shows. We read this one and thought the animals in general would capture the audience's attention,” Scribner said.

“The Jungle Book” is a Disney classic and was first brought to the big screen as an animated film in 1967 and most recently in 2016 directed and co-produced by Jon Favreau.

The tale was originally created by Kipling and then adapted for the stage by Robinette. It tells the story of Mowgli, a young boy being raised by wolves in the jungle.

This play goes back and forth between Mowgli in the jungle and a young boy in boarding school trying to win a writing prize at his school and uses the school bullies as characters in his own story by turning them into wild animals

Kathy Palermo has been the teacher at Lemoore High School in charge of the student’s drama productions for many years and hopes to continue bringing in young talent to perform.

“We have kids 9 to 18 performing together, and this play will be one of our best adventures yet,” Palermo said.

Carlos Sanchez, 17, said Palermo does a good job of getting everybody motivated to get on stage and is excited to be playing the role of Mowgli.

“…what I like about him is that he’s so much fun. You see him at the beginning of the play, and he’s just a kid and lost in the jungle and doesn’t realize how important he really is,” Sanchez said. “He is the only human, and after you see him grow and embrace his human side that is what really drew me to this character.”

Playing the part of Bagheera, Keziah Willis, 17, says her favorite part about being in the production is the people she works with.

“I really enjoy working with Carlos and the directors. They make it fun to be able to come in at 6 a.m. in the morning to rehearse,” Willis said. "It’s a really good experience to play Bageera. I like working with everybody. They help me be my character. I love it.”

For both Sanchez and Willis, the hardest challenge is being loud enough to project their voices across the stage since they do not have microphones.

However, the cast and crew will be making the play more interactive by having many of the students sit right next to the stage.

“It’s going to be very entertaining for children, and after the show, they will get to meet the cast,” Scribner said. 


Crime
Apartment fire may have been arson

HANFORD — Five people are now displaced from their homes after an apartment fire occurred Tuesday evening, leaving over $10,000 in damages, according to officials.

At around 6 p.m., Hanford Fire officials said crews responded to a dispatch call reporting an apartment fire in the 800 block of North Greenfield Avenue.

When fire crews arrived, they said they found the neighbor of the apartment’s residents fighting the apartment fire with a garden hose. They said the neighbor had been able to persuade the occupant to leave the apartment.

Fire officials said they began evacuating the occupants of the adjoining apartments while completely extinguishing the fire.

Two people suffered minor symptoms of smoke inhalation on the scene and were evaluated by paramedics, officials said. Damage to the structure is estimated to be in excess of $10,000.

While the fire crews were on their way to the scene, they said dispatch advised them the fire in the apartment was possibly arson and that Hanford police officers had a person in custody.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Hanford Fire Department and Hanford Police Department officers are questioning the apartment’s occupants, officials said.

In all, fire officials said five people were displaced by the fire due to either fire or water damage.