German health care company acquires Wilson drug plant

January 11, 2016

(The Wilson Times)

Fresenius Kabi USA, a German company that make pharmaceuticals and medical devices, has acquired a 120,000-square-foot Wilson manufacturing plant through its purchase of the BD Rx business. The plant's 100 employees will keep their jobs.

New community bank enters Wilmington market

January 8, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Morehead City-based Sound Bank is preparing to open its first full-service branch in Wilmington. The community bank, which has six locations and more than $130 million in assets according to its website, opened a loan production office there last January.

Bridgestone to invest $164 million in Wilson plant

January 6, 2016

(The Wilson Times)

Bridgestone Americas will invest $164 million in a 167,000-square-foot expansion of its 42-year-old Wilson plant, where the tire company employs 2,100 people and is one of the county's largest employers. A groundbreaking will be held within the next 60 days, and construction is expected to be complete by 2018. The company did not disclose how many new jobs would be created.

Only 2 NC counties support offshore drilling

January 5, 2016

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Brunswick and Carteret are the only two counties in the state that have approved resolutions supporting offshore seismic testing. At least 29 governments, mostly in coastal areas, have passed resolutions against offshore exploration or testing for oil and natural gas, according to environmental group Oceana.

Goldsboro hospital OKs partnership with UNC Health

January 4, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The executive committee of Wayne Memorial Hospital in Goldsboro has authorized a management-services agreement with UNC Health Care, though no formal plan has been announced. Bill Paugh retired as president and CEO of the 316-bed hospital on Dec. 31.

Eastern District U.S. Attorney Walker to resign in January

December 22, 2015

(The News and Observer)

Mark Walker, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, will resign effective Jan. 7. A Democrat from Waynesville, Walker was nominated to his post by President Obama in 2010 and took office a year later. He has overseen several grand jury investigations that have looked into state government offices, including the Department of Environmental Quality, and the state Department of Health and Human Services. The district covers 44 counties.

Increasing poultry production threatens Cape Fear, riverkeeper warns

December 22, 2015

(Goldsboro News-Argus)

A growing number of poultry farms in southeast  North Carolina is a looming threat to Cape Fear River's water quality because the region is in a part of the state already home to many industrial hog operations, according to Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette. North Carolina farms produce millions of hogs and hundreds of millions of chickens and turkeys annually, producing waste that runs into ditches during rains and eventually, into the river basin, according to the Fayetteville Observer. Twenty percent of state residents rely on the Cape Fear for their water.

Wilmington port banks on bigger ships in 2016

December 21, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The Port of Wilmington hopes that the widening of its turning basin and the expansion of the Panama Canal will lead to larger ships and more traffic. Last week, the port authority received a variance from the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission to dredge portions of the Cape Fear River for the $16 million project. Plans call for expanding the turning point's radius from 1,200 feet to 1,400 feet by May though the port is awaiting approval from government agencies, including the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. If the project meets its deadline, it will come about a month after the expansion of the Panama Canal, scheduled to open in April, making it easier for ships to reach East Coat ports. 



Appliance maker adding 460 jobs in Craven County

December 18, 2015

(New Bern Sun Journal)

BSH Home Appliances plans to add 460 jobs and invest more than $80 million over the next five years in an expansion of its New Bern operations, which includes a manufacturing plant, distribution facility and call center. The Munich-based company is the leading producer of home appliances in Europe, according to a press release from Gov. Pat McCrory's office.

Vidant's new CEO likes kale salad — and french fries

December 18, 2015

(Greenville Daily Reflector)

Vidant Health CEO Mike Waldrum, who started at the Greenville-based health care system June 1, describes his favorite foods and exercise regime. Waldrum trained at the Mayo Clinic and is a former CEO at the Univeristy of Arizona Health Network.

Fayetteville looks at economic effects of potential Fort Bragg downsizing

December 18, 2015

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The city of Fayetteville was awarded a $300,000 federal grant to study how a potential loss of troops would impact the city and neighboring counties. The Army announced this summer that Fort Bragg would lose 842 soldiers by the end of 2018.

UNC Health partners with Goldsboro hospital

December 17, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

UNC Health Care will add a ninth hospital to its network when it enters into a management-services agreement with 316-bed Wayne Memorial Hospital in Goldsboro. The Chapel Hill-based health system will provide legal, clinical and other professional services. Wayne Memorial's board will maintain local control.

Vertex delivers first 30 cars

December 17, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Vertex Railcar CEO Don Croteau said Wednesday the Wilmington company has received an order for 2,800 more cars, bringing total orders to 3,900. Chinese investor Weiping Yu compared Vertex to Michael Jordan, who grew up in Wilmington, predicting the company will make "a great contribution to the rail industry."

Vertex Railcar adding jobs as orders roll in

December 16, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Vertex Railcar says it has two orders for a total of 1,100 railcars that will keep the manufacturer busy through most of 2016. The company, which eventually plans to hire 1,300 people in Wilmington, has completed its first 60 cars. Vertex currently has 189 employees and is still hiring, according to Foster Sayers, the company's lawyer.

Judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit over Amazon wind farm

December 16, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A judge on Monday denied a request to throw out a lawsuit seeking to block construction of the Amazon Wind Farm in northeastern North Carolina. A couple from Perquimans is seeking a lengthy regulatory review of the $400 million project, which is already under construction, that developers say would kill the project.
Read "Hot Air," from BNC's December issue, to learn more about the Amazon-financed project

Wilmington shopping center to expand

December 15, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The owners of Mayfaire Town Center in Wilmington submitted plans to expand the shopping center by more than 90,000 square feet. CBL & Associates bought the 700,000-square-foot center for $192 million in June; the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based company has since sold a portion of the complex, Mayfaire Community Center, for $56.3 million.

Report: Wilmington's PPD explores sale, IPO

December 14, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Pharmaceutical Product Development could be looking at a possible sale or initial public offering that would value the company between $7 billion and $8 billion, according to a Reuters report. The contract research organization employs about 1,500 people at its Wilmington headquarters and more than 14,500 worldwide. PPD was founded in 1985 by Fred Eshelman, who made more than $275 million when he sold the company to two investment firms in 2011.

Beach towns raise concern over proposed wind turbines

December 14, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Property owners at Bald Head Island and other coastal communities worry that proposed offshore wind turbines will have a negative impact on tourism and future development. The federal Bureau of Energy Management has designated three areas off the North Carolina coast for wind-energy development.

TNT series to film in Wilmington

December 11, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The Wilmington film industry received some good news Thursday: TNT will film nine more episodes of Good Behavior, a TV drama starring Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery, in the coastal city. The pilot for the series was shot in Wilmington this fall.

Kinston still courting minor league baseball

December 10, 2015

(Kinston Free Press)

Though a deal to bring minor league baseball to Kinston fell through last summer, the town is still in talks with the Texas Rangers to put a franchise in Grainger Stadium for the 2017 season.