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Pat Whalen

Talk about impressing the right people. In April, Pat Whalen got a phone call from Rolling Stone magazine telling him that The Orange Peel Social Aid and Pleasure Club had made its list of the five best rock clubs in the country.

Paul Beard

Though Fayetteville native Paul Beard retired from the entertainment industry at the ripe old age of 18 — his parents owned the local speedway, and he grew up selling tickets and concessions — he couldn’t stay away.

Regional Report Western July 2008

Appalachian State University’s football team has gotten national attention for putting points on the board, and it’s not too bad at putting coin in the school’s coffers. When it shocked college-football fans last September by beating the University of Michigan Wolverines at The Big House in Ann Arbor, one of the shrines of the game, ASU pocketed $400,000. This year’s opener? Another road game against a history-rich team in college football’s top division: Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. ASU’s take will jump to $550,000.

Drive to succeed

The image from last May is everlasting. After holing his final putt to win the fifth Wachovia Championship, Tiger Woods pulled his golf ball from the cup, turned and flung it into the crowd along the 18th fairway at Quail Hollow Club.


Open to change

Jim Hyler is a vice president of the United States Golf Association, the national governing body for golf. A native of southern Virginia, he graduated in 1970 with a bachelor’s in accounting from Virginia Tech. After 10 years at Ernst & Young, he moved to Raleigh in 1980, where he joined First Citizens BancShares. He recently retired as its vice chairman and chief operating officer. Hyler recently talked about golf in the state.

Regional Report Charlotte April 2008

Panthers. Bobcats. Checkers. Knights. Few weekends pass without Charlotte sports fans having something to buy tickets for, and that’s not counting NASCAR, golf and other events. Queen City businesses face similar choices about where to spend sponsorship money. Given all that, a football team for UNC Charlotte might be akin to having too many players on the field.

Ben Sutton

Sports is a conservative industry run by cartels that call themselves leagues. That conservatism crimps innovation. So give a double shot of credit to Ben Sutton Jr., founder of International Sports Porperties Inc. in Winston-Salem, for coming up with one.

Jim Rutherford

Professional athletes don’t work all that hard. So says Jim Rutherford, and he would know. He played 13 seasons as an NHL goalie and is wrapping up his 14th year as general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes and its predecessor.

John Swofford

Some critics called John Swofford greedy. Others labeled the commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference a fool.

Judy Rose

Fans love an underdog, whether it’s a stubby hoopster like former Charlotte Hornet Muggsy Bogues or a no-way-they-can-win Super Bowl champ like the New York Giants. Count Judy Rose, 55, as someone to cheer for, too.

Kym Hougham

Kym Hougham announced his arrival with 32 bottles of Dom Perignon. It was 2003, and he had just been hired as director of the fledgling Wachovia Championship.

Regional Report Eastern March 2008

In late December 2005, a lawyer representing the brother of superstar Dolly Parton pitched a deal to government leaders wanting to expand the local economy: build a 1,500-seat theater that would be the linchpin of an entertainment district that could produce thousands of jobs and expand the tax base. No, this wasn’t Roanoke Rapids. That city didn’t get the offer until Currituck County had turned it down.

Trial by fury

It’s an overcast afternoon in May 2006, the sky the same gray as the stone facade of Durham County’s jail. Joe Cheshire has picked the site carefully. He wants a dramatic backdrop for the 30 or more television cameras facing him, along with scores of newspaper photographers and reporters, but he’s uneasy. He grips a lectern crammed with microphones and squints at the crowd.

Bobcats boss has folks scratching their heads

Soon after he bought the rights to start the Charlotte Bobcats, Bob Johnson made clear why he would be the boss: “Any business I put $300 million in, I’m the CEO.”

Founder: Indoor football has it made in the shade

American Indoor Football League founder Andrew Haines insists that he is still enthusiastic about the future of his sport in North Carolina. So far, five indoor-football franchises, from his league as well as two others, have failed in the state.