Report shows improving U.S. 70 would lead to jobs growth

June 23, 2014

(Sun Journal, New Bern)

Improvements to U.S. 70 between Raleigh and the coast could lead to the creation of up to 1,900 jobs, according to a report released last week. Supporters of the project say the corridor needs a four-lane freeway system to connect the state capital to Port of Morehead City.

Whitfield promoted to head of business affairs at UNCW

June 23, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Rick Whitfield will become vice chancellor for business affairs at UNC Wilmington July 1. Whitfield, who has 35 years of experience in higher education, has been the university's associate vice chancellor of business affairs since 2010. He succeeds Charles Maimone, who accepted a similar position at UNC Greensboro.

Growth expected in coastal Hampstead

June 19, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The small coastal community of Hampstead in Pender County is on the cusp of experiencing significant commercial and residential growth once sewer and water lines are installed. 

Bladen County Smithfield plant still closed after ammonia leak

June 19, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Smithfield Packing in Tar Heel remains closed after an ammonia leak forced an evacuation of the plant's 2,400 employees on Tuesday.

Fayetteville's Family Foods sells 31 restaurants to Calif. company

June 19, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Fayetteville-based Family Foods sold its 31 Taco Bell and Long John Silver's restaurants to Calif.-based Flynn Restaurant Group for an undisclosed amount. Flynn operates 640 restaurants with $1.4 billion in annual sales.

Fayetteville airport terminal to get $25M renovation

June 17, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The 45-year-old Fayetteville Regional Airport will undergo a $25 million terminal renovation. The project, which could begin in 2017, will be funded mostly by $20 million from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Fracking legislation attracts interest of energy companies

June 16, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The chairman of the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission said three energy exploration companies have called him since the state General Assembly passed a bill to allow fracking in the state next year. Other companies are renewing leases in areas where there may be high concentrations of shale gas.

Fayetteville VA Medical Center gets $7.4M to expand services

June 13, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

In an effort to relieve excessive wait times for patients, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs approved $7.4 million for the Fayetteville VA Medical Center to extend hours and increase contracts with off-site providers. A nationwide audit recently revealed the Fayetteville VA has the longest wait times in the U.S.

PNC Bank names Hansen regional president

June 11, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

PNC Bank named Jim Hansen regional president of its Eastern North Carolina market. Hansen led the Pittsburgh-based bank's northern Alabama region for the past four years. He grew up in Winston-Salem and previously worked at RBC Bank in Raleigh, which was acquired by PNC in 2012. He replaces Paula Fryland.

Audit shows Fayetteville VA center has longest wait times in country

June 10, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

A nationwide audit shows patients at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center have the longest wait times in the U.S. Patients there wait an average of 29 days for a primary care appointment; new patients wait an average of 83 days.

Clinton awarded $1.75M grant for infrastructure for biofuels plant

June 9, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The town of Clinton has received a $1.75 million federal grant to pay for water and sewer infrastructure for a biofuels plant. Italy-based Biochemtex announced in December it will invest $200 million and create 65 jobs at the Sampson County plant, which will create fuel from regionally grown energy grasses.

Edgecombe County electronics manufacturer receives environmental award

June 9, 2014

(Rocky Mount Telegram)

Keihin Carolina System Technology was among 20 N.C. companies that reached the highest level of the state's Environmental Stewardship Initiative. The plant began improving efficiency in 2011 by eliminating waste and switching from incandescent light bulbs to LED ones.

UNC Wilmington chancellor to resign July 31

June 6, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

UNC Wilmington will conduct its second chancellor search in four years when Gary Miller leaves July 31 to lead the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Three other administrators have announced plans to leave the university this year.

NC Senate committee to propose changes to film incentives

June 5, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The Senate Finance Committee is expected to propose a measure today that would change North Carolina's film incentive program to a grant program. The proposal would target more expensive productions while weeding out smaller projects that would benefit from the current incentive. Projects would need to spend a minimum of $10 million to qualify for the grant.


Company to create 79 jobs at biofuel refinery in Hoke County

June 3, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Tyton BioEnergy Systems will invest $36 million and create 79 jobs when it restarts production at the former Clean Burn Fuels ethanol refinery in Hoke County. The Danville, Va.-based company will eventually transition from the use of corn to tobacco sugars in its fuel production.

Hoke County ethanol plant sold to Virginia company

June 2, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

A Danville, Va.-based company that makes biofuel from tobacco has purchased the former Clean Burn Fuels ethanol plant in Raeford. The plant was built in 2010 for $100 million with plans to bring 100 jobs to the area. The company closed the plant after nine months of operation and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2011.

Hoke, Scotland counties prepare to shut down video sweepstakes businesses

May 29, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Hoke and Scotland counties will begin enforcing state gambling laws and will seize video sweepstakes machines beginning July 1. Records show there are 451 machines in at least 23 businesses in Scotland County. 

Seafood prices rise as catches get smaller

May 27, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state's commercial fish and shellfish harvests fell in 2013 for the fourth year in a row, according to a report from the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. Reasons for the decline include a smaller number of commercial fishermen, rising fuel costs and government regulations.

Rural counties have accommodated unwanted coal ash for years

May 23, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

While the focus of coal-ash storage has been on Duke Energy's 33 ash ponds at its power plants, there are more than 70 ash sites across the state, many on private land in Eastern N.C. Some of the ash has been used in construction of parking lots and roads, but some has been unmonitored and even dumped into wetland areas.

Wilmington area lawmakers file bill to extend film incentive

May 22, 2014

(Star-News, Wilmington)

Three local lawmakers filed a bill Tuesday to repeal sunset dates for the state's historic preservation tax credits and film incentive program and increase the minimum amount productions must spend to qualify for film credits from $250,000 to $300,000. The Wilmington Regional Film Commission expects productions to spend about $160 million this year, compared with $135 million in 2013.