Business

Punitive damages likely to be reduced in RJ Reynolds case

July 22, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The $23.6 billion in punitive damages awarded by a Florida jury last week is likely to be reduced or overturned, according to industry analysts. A spokesman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has said it will appeal the ruling.

Zoning amendment makes it easier for Charlotte breweries to expand

July 22, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The Charlotte City Council voted to change zoning regulations to reduce the required distance between residential areas and bars, restaurants and nightclubs from 400 feet to 100 feet. The change gives breweries in neighborhoods such as Charlotte's NoDa more expansion opportunities.

RJ Reynolds to fight $23.6 billion verdict

July 21, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. says it will appeal a verdict in a lawsuit that would require it to pay $23.6 billion in punitive damages to the widow of a smoker who died of lung cancer in 1996. A Florida jury awarded the damages on Friday, a day after Cynthia Robinson was awarded $16.8 million in compensatory damages.

Google Fiber team studying Charlotte proposal

July 21, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Google is reviewing Charlotte's plan to bring its high-speed Google Fiber network to the city. Representatives from the Mountain View, Calif.-based tech company have been surveying land and have met with city planners to discuss permits. Google will announce by year-end whether it will build the network in Charlotte.

Bank of the Carolinas adopts poison pill to avoid hostile takeover

July 21, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Mocksville-based Bank of the Carolinas will adopt a poison pill strategy to prevent an unwanted takeover. The bank announced last week it had raised $45.8 million in private-equity funding.

Reactions mixed over proposed Cumberland County chicken plant

July 21, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Local opinions are split over a proposed Sanderson Farms chicken plant that would create more than 1,000 jobs in Cumberland County. While the jobs would significantly lower the county's unemployment rate, critics are concerned over potential effects on groundwater and the smell the plant would generate.

NewBridge establishes middle-market banking team in Charlotte

July 21, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Greensboro-based NewBridge Bank has created a banking group in Charlotte to serve companies with annual revenue between $25 million and $250 million.  The six-person team will be led by Michael McMahan, a former Bank of America executive. The bank plans to expand the team in the Triad and Triangle areas.

Henderson County apple crops largely unaffected by spring storms

July 21, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Despite unseasonably cold temperatures and spring hailstorms, apple growers in Henderson County say crops suffered little damage. The annual North Carolina Apple Festival begins Aug. 29.

NC farmers explore stevia production

July 21, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina farmers have begun experimenting with growing stevia crops, which can be farmed using the same machinery as used for tobacco and peanut production. Stevia produces an all-natural sweetener that is used in products including Coca-Cola's Sprite and PepsiCo's Trop50 orange-juice drink.

Former Lorillard CEO to lead integration of tobacco companies

July 18, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Former Lorillard CEO Martin Orlowsky was named executive chairman designate of United Kingdom-based Imperial Tobacco, which plans to take over Lorillard's Greensboro manufacturing operations. Orlowsky was CEO of the Greensboro-based tobacco company from 1999 until his retirement in 2010.