2006-04

Article Title Issue

$5.5 million gets you a giant fixer-upper

Long, long ago — at least in cybertime — there was the dot-com boom. Five years after it went bust, its echo is producing the ultimate handyman’s dream. It’s 23,000 square feet, and the two-lane bowling alley is nice on days when the tennis court is damp.
2006-04

Bank finally gets on track with NASCAR

In 1977, when H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler was general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, it received its first loan from Charlotte-based NCNB Corp. The racetrack used the $2.2 million to add 10,000 seats, 17 VIP suites and a new press box — and quickly repaid the loan with ticket proceeds.
2006-04

Charlotte companies slip south of border

Charlotte recruiters know well the warm feeling of slipping their hands into pockets of other cities and pulling out corporate headquarters, offices or factories. But lately, they’ve been reminded too often how awful it feels to have their own pockets picked. And to make matters worse, the beneficiaries have been the city’s economic- development partners.
2006-04

Developer is able to fill in the blanks

David A. Spetrino Jr. always liked to build things. As a kid, it was tree forts in his Dumfries, Va., backyard. When he finished one, he would tear it down and try a new design. In high school, he was a carpenter’s helper in nearby Dale City, framing houses. While attending Radford University, he shifted gears and got a real-estate license. Even then, he bought and renovated houses for rentals, and during summers, he would build barns.
2006-04

Entwined

It’s how a family grew its business and resurrected the Tar Heel wine industry.
2006-04

Idea of new Twin City flights is a real Hooters

Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem hasn’t had passenger air travel since a US Airways commuter airline left in January 2000. It cost residents more than a loss of convenience. Without commercial passengers, Smith Reynolds doesn’t qualify for federal airport-improvement grants.
2006-04

Keeping on track

When John Pike looks at the railroad tracks that serve his company, he sees more than two ribbons of steel stretching to the west. He sees a lifeline. He is operations director of Goldsboro Milling Co., which produces 500 million pounds of turkey and pork a year, fattened on feed made at its two mills in Wayne County.
2006-04

Like his old boss, he isn't the retiring type

At an age when most executives are retired, Charles Snipes started a new job. But then, being 72 at Granite Falls-based Bank of Granite Corp. is different than being that age at other companies.
2006-04

New Hanes job fits Sara Lee exec to a T

It may not have the cachet of some of the other places he has called home — Paris, Rome and Toronto — but Winston-Salem has quickly grown on Lee Chaden, who came to the Triad with his wife two years ago. “We love it down here.” That move, like the others, happened because of work.
2006-04

A lot of hot air

As it rises from the dewy earth at dawn, a hot-air balloon slips the bonds of science to become poetry. But first, in a birth that melds art, craftsmanship and technology, it must rise from fiber, fabric and wood on a factory floor. That’s the role of FireFly Balloons Inc. in Statesville.
2006-04

Rise and shine

Growing up, my only exposure to wine was the empty “short dogs” we’d sometimes find behind the well house at my grand-parents’ place. Grandpa Kinney was known to imbibe a bit — which, since he’d been a cabinetmaker, probably explained why he had just one eye and only seven fingers — and the shed was where he’d retreat to avoid Grandma’s vigilance.
2006-04

School forum can't put a price on performance.

All public school systems aren’t created equal, nor are they endowed by their creator with enough money to provide a sound education for all students, according to the Public School Forum of North Carolina, a Raleigh-based think tank. The gap in per-student spending between the 10 richest counties and the 10 poorest has grown 62% since 1997. About 65% of funding for kindergarten through 12th grade comes from the state, about 25% from the counties through property taxes and the rest from the feds. John Dornan is the forum’s executive director.
2006-04