Eastern

Pig virus still affecting NC farms; pork prices rising

April 9, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina is among four states that have been most affected by porcine epidemic diarrhea, the fast-spreading virus that is fatal to young piglets. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the virus is responsible for a 3% reduction in the nation's pig population and pork prices have risen 10% or more.

General Assembly refutes film study, says incentives cost state $33 million

April 8, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

A review of a film-incentive study released last week questions its conclusions and claims North Carolina lost $33.1 million in local and state tax revenue in 2012 due to the incentives. The state General Assembly's Fiscal Research Division re-evaluated the study performed by an N.C. State professor, and its findings dispute the study's claim the state made a profit of $25.4 million from tax revenue.

Dredging to improve port prospects at Morehead City

April 7, 2014

(Carteret County News-Times)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin dredging in Beaufort Inlet today. The $7.9 million project will allow ships leaving the N.C. Port of Morehead City to carry more cargo by increasing the channel's depth to 43 feet. Sand removed from the inlet will be moved to beaches along Bogue Banks. 

NCDOT to create 24-county free trade zone in Eastern NC

April 7, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The N.C. Department of Transportation announced last week the creation of a 24-county free trade zone in Eastern N.C. that includes New Hanover, Brunwick and Pender counties. The zoning will enable companies designated as FTZ sites to defer duty taxes on products until the products leave the zone.

Political ads target Republican senators for support of fracking

April 7, 2014

(The Sanford Herald)

A pro-environment group which includes the Southern Environmental Law Center is behind new politcal ads labeling three Republican state senators as "The Fracking Crew." The ads target Harnett County's Sen. Ronald Rabin, Wake County's Sen. Chad Barefoot and Sen. Wesley Meredith of Cumberland County, condemning the trio for their support of hydraulic fracturing.

Economist predicts slow growth for Wilmington area

April 4, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

A PNC economist said Wilmington will experience economic growth but it will take it a year longer than the rest of North Carolina to completely climb out of the recession. Mekael Teshome said the area must attract higher-wage industries instead of relying on hospitality and retail.  

Chairman of NC Ports Authority resigns

April 3, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

In a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory earlier this week, Danny McComas resigned as chairman of the North Carolina Ports Authority. He has served as chairman of the board since his appointment in 2012; his term was to expire in 2016. McComas did not give a reason for his resignation. The Ports Authority named Paul Cozza its new executive director last week.

Air Force outlines reasons for closing Fort Bragg's 440th Airlift Wing

April 3, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Air Force officials provided details about its decision to deactivate Fort Bragg's 440th Airlift Wing as part of its 2015 budget proposal, saying moving the unit to Little Rock Air Force Base will save it 600 positions. The deactivation would eliminate more than 1,400 jobs at Fort Bragg's Pope Field.

Offshore drilling could create hundreds to thousands of new jobs

April 2, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

N.C. State professor Michael Walden says offshore drilling for oil and natural gas along the North Carolina coast could create a few hundred to several thousand jobs. The potential number of jobs would depend on a number of factors, including available quantities, pricing, advanced technologies and environmental impact. 

Pipe-maker to cut 90 jobs at Brunswick County plant

April 1, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Victaulic will cut 90 jobs over the next seven months at its pipe-manufacturing plant in Leland. The company will move rubber-molding and press-fit operations to Mexico. 

Halifax Regional has major economic impact on county

April 1, 2014

(The Daily Herald, Roanoke Rapids)

Halifax County's largest employer had an economic impact of more than $152 million on the area in 2012, according to a study UNC Chapel Hill performed with the medical center. The 204-bed hospital employs 759 people.

GlaxoSmithKline expanding at Zebulon manufacturing plant

March 31, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

GlaxoSmithKline will hire 60 to 75 new workers during the next month at its manufacturing plant in Zebulon as it expands production of several new drugs. GSK employs about 4,500 at its North American headquarters at Research Triangle Park and about 450 at the manufacturing support center in Zebulon.

Wilson Medical Center announces new chief executive

March 31, 2014

(The Wilson Times)

William E. "Bill" Caldwell was named CEO of Wilson Medical Center. He replaces Rick Hudson, who retired when the 294-bed hospital joined Duke LifePoint March 1. Caldwell was previously chief operating officer of Salem, Va.-based LewisGale Medical Center. 

Cozza selected to lead N.C. State Ports Authority

March 31, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The N.C. State Ports Authority named Paul Cozza its new executive director. Cozza, a U.S. Army veteran, previously served in various roles at Maersk Line Limited and CSX Corporation/Sea-Land Service Inc. 

Vidant Health to keep Belhaven hospital open; community board will assume operations

March 28, 2014

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

Vidant Health will not close its Beaufort County hospital on April 1 as previously planned. The health care system will continue to operate the 49-bed Vidant Pungo Hospital through July 1, at which time it will transfer control to a community-based board. The state chapter of the NAACP had filed a federal complaint about the Belhaven hospital's impending closure.

ECU opens dental learning clinic in Harnett County

March 28, 2014

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

The East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine opened a community-service learning center in Lillington this week, its third such clinic where faculty members oversee fourth-year dental students who perform dental services in underserved ares of the state. The university already operates centers in Ahoskie and Elizabeth City, and four others are under construction across the state. 

New Bern to host PepsiCo shareholders meeting May 7

March 28, 2014

(The New Bern Sun Journal)

Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo will hold its annual shareholders meeting in New Bern for the second year in a row. Pepsi was created by New Bern pharmacist in 1898. The shareholders meeting will be held May 7 at the North Carolina History Center.

Sparks' 'The Longest Ride' to film in Wilmington

March 27, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The film version of New Bern author Nicholas Sparks' latest book The Longest Ride will film in the Wilmington area. It will be the fourth movie based on a Sparks novel to film in the region. 

New Hanover approves industrial investment grant for Fortron

March 25, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

New Hanover County commissioners unanimously approved an incentive package for Fortron Industries to make $50 million in capital improvements at its Wilmington chemical plant. The county will pay a maximum of $100,000 per year for up to five years if the company reaches expenditure benchmarks.

Severn-based company hopes to buy New Mexico peanut plant

March 25, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Severn-based Hampton Farms bid $20 million at an auction for a New Mexico peanut-butter processing plant that went bankrupt after a salmonella outbreak caused it to close and triggered a nationwide recall of its products.