Eastern

Wrightsville Beach hotel celebrates 50 years in business

April 21, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Wrightsville Beach's Blockade Runner Beach Resort is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The family-owned business has withstood hurricanes, including Diana in 1984 which nearly destroyed the 150-room hotel, and other setbacks and has endured where other inns and hotels have come and gone.

School leaders concerned over increase in Wake County teacher resignations

April 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Teacher resignations in Wake County have increased 41% compared with the same time a year ago. Of Wake's 9,000 teachers, 612 have resigned since the school year began, up from 433 during the same time last year. North Carolina's average pay for teachers ranks 46th in the nation.

Fayetteville's Methodist University receives $1 million gift

April 17, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Methodist University received a $1 million gift to support three projects including a Judaic studies endowment and a lobby and gallery in the Reeves Fine Art Building. The school has raised $25 million towards a $35 million goal in the largest fundraising initiative in its history.

Isaiah Washington leads cast of 'The Sin Seer' in Wilmington

April 17, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Isaiah Washington and Lisa Arrindell Anderson will star in The Sin Seer, an upcoming film about a woman who can see sin in people's souls. The film will begin production April 28 in Wilmington.

Wilmington's Live Oak Bank to go public

April 16, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

In an SEC filing, Wilmington-based Live Oak Bank announced plans to go public though no share price was given. The statement says the bank, which began as a small-business lender, will use proceeds from the public offering to pay off about $8 million in debt and support expansion.

Wilmington may raises taxes, cut jobs to offset $2.3 million budget shortfall

April 16, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Wilmington may raise its property tax rate by two cents per $100 of value or cut up to 34 jobs to narrow a $2.34 million gap between expenses and revenue. The city council will adopt the budget in June for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Duke Energy selects Lumberton site for possible development

April 15, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Duke Energy Progress has hired a consulting group to study a 257-acre site in Robeson County for a potential industrial or manufacturing project. The Lumberton site is one of five in the state chosen by the utility as part of its 2014 Site Readiness Program.

New owner of Smithfield Foods to hold IPO

April 15, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The Chinese company that bought Smithfield Foods last year will hold an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. WH Group hopes to raise up to $5.3 billion, much of which will be used to pay off debts related to the Smithfield purchase. Shares are expected to start trading on April 30.

Two more environmental groups oppose sale of N.C. State research forest

April 14, 2014

(Jacksonville Daily News)

Audobon North Carolina and the North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club have joined at least nine other environmental groups opposed to the prospective sale of Hofmann Forest in Onslow and Jones counties. N.C. State University announced plans in October to sell the land, previously used for research and education, to an Illinois-based agribusiness for $150 million.

PBS series filmed in Kinston wins Peabody Award

April 10, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The PBS series featuring Kinston chef Vivian Howard and the restaurant she co-owns with Ben Knight, Chef and the Farmer, won a Peabody Award, which recognizes excellence in broadcasting. A Chef's Life joins top-rated TV shows including ABC's Scandal and AMC's Breaking Bad in receiving the awards, which will be presented at a May 19 ceremony in New York. 

Walsh resigns as CEO of Wilmington's AAIPharma

April 10, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The chief executive of Wilmington-based AAIPharma Services Corp. has stepped down. Patrick Walsh led the company through its merger with Wisconsin-based Cambridge Major Laboratories last year, and had planned to leave the position after the transition. Susan Nestegard was named interim CEO.

Comedy featuring Kristen Wiig, Allison Janney to film in Wilmington

April 10, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

A new movie titled The Heart, starring Kristen Wiig, will film in Wilmington. Pre-production of the comedy, which will also star Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell, is set to begin in May.

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.