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REGIONALREPORT Eastern

Nothing but air

Two eastern North Carolina wind-farm projects are having trouble shooting the breeze. A 300-megawatt one in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties proposed by Portland, Ore.-based Atlantic Wind LLC was supposed to begin construction last year. But no utility has agreed to buy the power it would produce, and it won’t build without a deal. Meanwhile, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service filed a complaint with the N.C. Utilities Commission, claiming that an 11,000-acre, 80-megawatt project in Beaufort County by Delaware-based Pantego Wind Energy LLC would threaten the tundra swan, which winters there. Pantego is seeking a license from the commission.

 

Flowers mean power

The 2011 North Carolina Azalea Festival in April had an economic impact of more than $50 million in Wilmington — $48 million in direct and indirect visitor spending and $1.6 million spent by the festival. Also included in the total: 15,000 volunteer hours valued at $438,000.

Academi

For the second time in little more than two years, what was once known as Blackwater USA changed its name. The private-security company has had a headline-grabbing history.

December 1996
Incorporated by former Navy SEAL and industrial heir Erik Prince as Blackwater Lodge and Training Center Inc. in Moyock

March 2004
Iraqi insurgents kill four Blackwater contractors in Fallujah

September 2007
Contractors allegedly shoot and kill 17 Iraqi civilians

February 2009
Changes name to Xe Services LLC

December 2010
Bought by USTC Holdings LLC, a New York-based investor group

July 2011
Moves corporate headquarters to Arlington, Va., but main operation remains in Moyock

December 2011
Changes name to Academi LLC

Briefs

WILMINGTON— Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty merged with Coldwell Banker Advantage of Raleigh and Fayetteville. With more than 600 agents and a combined $1.3 billion in sales in 2010, Sea Coast Advantage will be the third-largest residential real-estate company in the state.

WHITEVILLE— The Nasdaq de-listed Waccamaw Bankshares, the holding company for Waccamaw Bank, for failure to submit financial reports from 2010 and 2011.

CASTLE HAYNE— Cincinnati-based GE Aviation has added about 20 employees at its factory here in the last six months and plans to hire up to 15 more this year, increasing its local workforce to about 620. The factory makes parts for Boeing aircraft engines. 

LELAND— Danbury, Conn.-based CMS Food Solutions purchased a warehouse here for $1.8 million that it plans to convert to a plant this year. The food company will hire 52 employees, who will use biotechnologies to preserve fruits, vegetables and other foods. The average annual wage will be $43,115, higher than Brunswick County’s average of $32,500.

WILMINGTON— General contractor John S. Clark will consolidate its offices here and in Winston-Salem into its headquarters in Mount Airy within six toeight months, laying off about 40 local employees. A spokesman says some might be relocated.