National retail chain The Children's Place has signed a lease to open a 5,031-square-foot store at The Outlets at Tejon just north of The Grapevine in early November.

The New Jersey-based company sells clothes and shoes for infants, children and pre-teens, according to a news release on the leasing agreement. It also offers jewelry, purses, toys, books and furniture.

Tejon Ranch Co., the Lebec-based agribusiness and real estate developer that co-owns the outlets, said the new store will be located between Pottery Barn Outlets and Pottery Barn Teen/Pottery Barn Kids.

A company equipping Kern County dairies to capture "biogas" emitted from cow manure on Thursday announced a business partnership with a San Jose outfit whose technology turns the gas into electricity without the need for combustion.

The deal between Visalia-based California Bioenergy LLC and publicly traded Bloom Energy was touted as a way to capture and utilize waste methane that can power electric vehicles while also fighting climate change.

"This solution is a trifecta — slashing methane, avoiding combustion from electricity generation and supporting our transition to electrified transportation," Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, said in a news release about CalBio's and Bloom's agreement.

Bakersfield-based beer distributor W.A. Thompson Inc. announced it has agreed to sell virtually all its assets to Harbor Distributing LLC, a Reyes Beer Division company active in Southern California, the Central Coast and Northern California.

As part of the transaction, W.A. Thompson said it will lay off 95 employees in Kern County. But company President Mary Trichell said Harbor will hire most if not all of those workers, as well as others at its facilities in Lancaster and Barstow. She added that there will be no interruption of service to customers.

"W.A. Thompson is a great business and we are very proud of everything we've accomplished over the years," she said in a news release. "We are confident the Reyes family will continue to do right by our business and our people, and continue to grow and succeed."

The acquisition is estimated to add 7.1 million cases and nearly 2,500 new customer accounts to Harbor's business. Reyes is based in Illinois.

Bakersfield-based oil producer Aera Energy LLC has tied for first place in the Best Workplaces category of a third annual national competition among oil and gas companies.

Aera tied with Houston-based Marathon Oil Co. in the 2019 GRIT Awards & Best Energy Workplaces. Winners were announced Thursday.

Aera's LGBT + Allies ERG group also won in the awards' Affinity Network category. Company geologist Emily Fisher won in the category of industry professionals.

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