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STATEWIDE Eastern Region

These little piggies are getting sick

A fast-spreading virus that is nearly always fatal to pigs 14 days and younger has affected almost a third of North Carolina’s 2,900 hog farms, almost all of which are east of Raleigh. Porcine epidemic diarrhea was discovered in the United Kingdom in 1971, but the strain in the U.S. seems to have originated in China. The disease was first identified domestically in Ohio last June and has been found in about two dozen states. It has been discovered in about 40 to 60 Tar Heel farms per week since early December, though State Veterinarian David Marshall says that rate is decreasing. Economists predict it will kill about 4% of the U.S. piglets that would typically go to market. North Carolina is second to Iowa in pig farming, producing more than 17 million per year.

 
 
 
 
 
Briefs

 

FAYETTEVILLECombat Medical Systems won a Department of Defense contract to supply up to $36 million worth of medical supplies to the military and federal agencies. Founded in 2008 by former combat medics, the company develops products and devices to treat battlefield injuries. It beat out three companies for the one-year contract, which has nine annual renewal options.

WILSON — Brentwood, Tenn.-based Duke LifePoint Healthcare paid $56 million for 80% ownership of Wilson Medical Center and will invest $96 million toward $120 million of capital improvements to the 294-bed hospital. Wilson Medical is the third hospital in the state and fifth in 
the country to join the system, a joint venture of Durham-based Duke University Health System and Brentwood, Tenn.-based LifePoint Hospitals.

WILMINGTON — Henderson, Nev.-based U-Swirl bought Fuzzy Peach Franchising, a chain of 17 frozen-yogurt shops started by three UNC Wilmington graduates, for $481,000 plus up to $349,000 more based on royalty income in the next 12 months. The addition 
of Fuzzy Peach shops in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia gives U-Swirl 286 frozen-yogurt cafés in 38 states plus four foreign countries. Durango, Colo.-based Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory owns a majority interest 
in U-Swirl.

FAYETTEVILLEFayetteville Technical Community College 
had a $530.3 million impact on Cumberland County’s economy 
in the 2012-13 fiscal year, according 
to a report by Moscow, Idaho-based Economic Modeling Specialists and commissioned by the school. Alumni who found jobs in the county made the biggest contribution, adding $440.8 million.

ELIZABETH CITY — Norfolk, Va.-based Sentara Healthcare entered 
a long-term lease agreement with Albemarle Health March 1 and named Kenneth Wood interim president of the 182-bed hospital. He was president and CEO of Morganton-based Blue Ridge Healthcare. Jan King Robinson, who had been interim president, became vice president of operations.

WILMINGTONCBS Television began filming the second season of Under the Dome in March. The TV drama employs about 150 at EUE/Screen Gems Studios. Production will wrap in July or August.