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Regional Report Triangle January 2009

Suzanne Clifton convinced lots of folks that she was running a successful company. More than 100 businesses counted on The Castleton Group Inc. to pay their taxes and handle other human-resources matters.
2009-01

To be, rather than to seem

It would be interesting to know how many times in the last eight years Mike Easley has uttered something about the challenges of competing in a global economy.
2009-01

Are bonds ties that bind economy?

In tough times, it’s probably a good idea to stash the plastic. It can be difficult enough making ends meet without rising credit-card payments.
2008-12

Marco Polo comes home

Lightning flickers in the Saturday evening sky as Jim Fain’s flight lifts off late from Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Missing his connection in New York, North Carolina’s top industry hunter dozes through the night slumped in a chair at John F. Kennedy International Airport. By the time his Air France flight thunders off the runway Sunday morning, it’s midday in Paris, and the City of Light is aglow when he walks through the gate at Charles de Gaulle International Airport seven hours later.
2008-12

Economic outlook

Tar Heels were no better off last year than at the start of the decade, according to the North Carolina Justice Center, a Raleigh nonprofit. Median household income stood about where it did in 2000. During that time, the percentage of residents in poverty and those without health insurance grew.
2008-11

Change you can’t believe in

Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory is a danger to the middle class. Just ask Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue. As for Perdue, she’s part of the power elite, one of five or six people who control everything in the state. McCrory says so.
2008-10

Economic outlook

North Carolina’s society has become multicultural, its economy has become more diverse, and the state has prospered in recent decades. But leaders must adjust their policies for a more metropolitan economy — focused on cities and suburbs — and address a widening disparity between rich and poor, says Ferrel Guillory, director of The Program on Public Life at UNC Chapel Hill.
2008-10

He rests his case with Edwards

I never meant for there to be a sequel to my August column about the newspaper business. But after John Edwards and Rielle Hunter teamed up not only to make whoopee (as well as a baby, allegedly) but also to make my point for me, that previous piece is worth revisiting.
2008-10

On a need-to-know basis

There’s a fellow living near Butner, where the federal government is considering building a germ-defense lab, who is prone to dress in a white suit and red cape with a large BS emblazoned on his chest. He’s Bio-Safety Man,and he must be a scary dude. Or at least a very persuasive one. Why else would more than a quarter-million dollars of public money have been temporarily earmarked to overcome his opposition to the lab?
2008-09

The wages of sin taxes

Smoke hovered in the hallways in 1999 when farmers from across the state came to Raleigh to have their say on how legislators should use money from the multibillion-dollar national tobacco settlement.
2008-09

Chuck McGrady

Chuck McGrady is used to getting weird looks when people find out he’s an environmentalist and a Republican.
2008-08

Mary Price Harrison

She’s only been a member of the legislature since 2005, but Democrat Pricey Harrison has signed her name to more bills than colleagues with four times her tenure.
2008-08

Muzzling the tax bite

Seven years ago, North Carolina lawmakers were starved for cash. A slowing economy put the state budget temporarily in the red, leaving a shortfall exceeding $1 billion. Legislators responded by turning the dogs loose on tax scofflaws.
2008-08

James O'Brien

2008-07

Pull of the public purse strings

The last time North Carolina legislators decided to borrow money with voter-approved general-obligation bonds, the late Harlan Boyles was state treasurer. These days, the honorables issue more-expensive certificates of participation— $554 million just last year.
2008-07

Regional Report Triangle July 2008

For years, Durham has played Raleigh’s little brother, tagging along and getting less attention. It’s Raleigh-Durham International Airport, not the other way around. Until a few years ago, they were part of the same metropolitan statistical area, in which Raleigh, of course, got top billing. When national magazines compile best-of lists, they usually think of Raleigh first.
2008-07

Rolling in the “D’oh!”

One of the many unhealthy similarities between journalists and politicians is that both run the risk of becoming wedded to a particular policy or point of view. Intellectual flexibility is a desirable quality in both professions, yet intoo many cases when the circumstances change … Oh, hell. Enough of the throat clearing and pussyfooting. I need to just man up here and say it: The state’s Global TransPark might prove to be a success after all.
2008-07

Regional Report Charlotte June 2008

It’s not always good to be No. 1. In April, the waterway that courses through the center of the Charlotte region was at the top of America’s Most Endangered Rivers, compiled by American Rivers, a Washington, D.C., advocacy group.
2008-06

Regional Report Eastern June 2008

Imagine a city the population of Greenville — about 75,000 — springing up in Eastern North Carolina in the next three years. That’s what military buildups in the region will amount to, and while one expert calls base expansions “the biggest economic-development announcement in 40 years,” the news has sobering consequences.
2008-06

Stoplight up ahead

Each day, tractor-trailers unload goods at warehouses or stores in and around Charlotte. For many, the stop marks a brief foray into North Carolina. They’ve come from Charleston, S.C., or Savannah, Ga., or distributioncenters set up along interstate highways to serve those ports.
2008-06