Eastern

Wilmington's Azalea Festival attacts 300,000 people

April 22, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

About 300,000 people attended this month's Azalea Festival in Wilmington. A 2011 study showed 160,000 people participated in the festival that year. Event officials estimate the festival's annual economic impact is at least $60,000.

Apple buys forest land in Brunswick County

April 17, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Through a partnership with nonprofit environmental group The Conservation Fund, Apple has acquired more than 3,600 acres of forest land in Brunswick County. The California-based company plans to harvest timber using sustainable practices and use it in packaging for products including iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs.
Related: Apple to invest in solar projects, forests

Company buys 46,000-square-foot industrial space in Leland

April 17, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

A company named Barn Creek LLC bought a 46,000-square-foot, bank-owned industrial building in Leland for $575,000. The warehouse has about 4,500 square feet of office space and sits on about 3 acres. The buyer's plans for the property are unknown.

Southeastern Health gets grant for medical training center

April 16, 2015

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Southeastern Health received a $500,000 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation that will allow it to complete renovations to a medical-education center at its Lumberton hospital. Southeastern has raised a total of $1.6 million for the renovations, which are expected to be complete by July.

Investigation continues in Smith Advertising case

April 14, 2015

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Nearly a year after they were arrested and charged with wire fraud in a federal court in Florida, Gary Smith and his son Todd have yet to face trial. The duo, who owned the former Smith Advertising and Associates in Fayetteville, are accused of running a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of $55 million (Cover Story, December 2013).

New chancellor chosen for UNC Wilmington

April 13, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The UNC Board of Governors named Jose "Zito" Sartarelli chancellor of UNC Wimington. A native of Brazil, Sartarelli spent 30 years working in the pharmaceutical industry and has been dean of West Virginia University's business school since 2010.

Carteret County's oldest restaurant is for sale

April 13, 2015

(Cateret County News-Times)

The owners of Capt. Bill's Restaurant have decided not to open for the summer season and have listed the business, which first opened in 1938, for sale. John and Diane Poag have owned the waterfront restaurant since 1982 and are retiring.

NewBridge names regional real-estate chief

April 10, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Greensboro-based NewBridge Bank tapped Senior Vice President Hunter Gallimore as head of commercial real estate in Wilmington and eastern North Carolina.

Wilmington's PPD forms joint venture with Japanese company

April 9, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Pharmaceutical Product Development announced a joint venture with Japan-based Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories to provide clinical-development services in Japan. The new company, which will have three offices in Japan, will be majority-owned by Wilmington-based PPD.

UNC governors could name UNCW chancellor this week

April 9, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The UNC Board of Governors is expected to announce its candidate for UNC Wilmington's new chancellor on Friday. Former Chancellor Gary Miller resigned last summer to lead the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Wilmington's Lumina Station sells for $14.5M

April 8, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

A Myrtle Beach, S.C.-based REIT has acquired Lumina Station, a 68,794-square-foot office and retail center in Wilmington, for more than $14.5 million. Burroughs & Chapin's portfolio includes entertainment complexes Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach and Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach.

Utility changes would cost Fayetteville $1.6M

April 3, 2015

(Fayetteville Observer)

Fayetteville City Manager Ted Voorhees said Thursday that proposed changes to the town's Public Works Commission would mean a $1.6 million shortfall next year. In response, Voorhees instituted a hiring freeze and requested plans for cuts of up to 10%.

Vidant announces new CEO

April 2, 2015

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

Vidant Health on Wednesday named Michael Waldrum CEO. Waldrum was most recently president and CEO of the University of Arizona Health Network. He replaces David Herman, who resigned in October and now leads Essentia Health in Duluth, Minn. Greenville-based Vidant employs 12,000 people and operates eight hospitals in eastern N.C.

International Paper to invest $135M in NC plant, layoffs to follow

April 1, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

International Paper plans to invest $135 million in its Columbus County plant, but the upgrades will result in the loss of an unspecified number of jobs. The conversion, expected to be completed by mid-2016, will allow the mill to move to 100% production of fluff pulp that is used in products including baby diapers. The company employs 740 people at the plant.

DHHS audit finds deficiencies

April 3, 2015

(Greensboro News & Record)

An audit of the state Department of Health and Human Services showed significant errors and deficiencies in its oversight of state programs, including errors in 24% of 272 claims sampled that resulted in $464,942 in overpayment.

Bathtub manufacturer laying off 87 in Wilson

March 31, 2015

(The Wilson Times)

Bathcraft will close its Wilson manufacturing plant and lay off 87 workers. The Remerton, Ga.-based company, which makes showers and tubs for residential homes, said it is closing the plant due to continued uncertainty in the housing market.

GE Hitachi opens training station

March 31, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

GE Hitachi held a ribbon-cutting Monday for a reactor-maintenance training facility at its plant in Castle Hayne. The full-size replica will be used to train hundreds of workers in refueling and maintenance work for the company's reactors worldwide.

Ted Spring sues CFCC trustees

March 30, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Former Cape Fear Community College President Ted Spring has filed a lawsuit against the school's board of trustees, alleging the group forced him to resign in January. Spring is asking to be reinstated and to be paid damages of at least $25,000.

House approves sale of eastern NC power plants

April 2, 2015

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

Gov. Pat McCrory was expected to sign a bill that will allow 32 eastern cites to sell their ownership stakes in five power plants to Duke Energy Progress (Statewide, September 2014). The state House and Senate approved the legislation, which is expected to lower electric rates for customers in those municipalities.

Interest in NC film industry will fade without funding

March 30, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Film-industry officials say there is still interest in bringing film projects to North Carolina, but without an increase in incentives the state will fall lower down on the list of options. An estimated 20% of the state's 4,000-member crew base has left the state to find work in other locations.