Triangle

Blue Cross notifies policyholders of changing premiums

October 21, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has begun sending letters to individual policyholders alerting them to new rates for 2014. In some cases, rates will double or triple since the insurer must provide more generous coverage under the Affordable Care Act, however many policyholders will qualify for federal subsidies or be able to switch to cheaper policies.

Bayer CropScience begins upgrades to RTP headquarters

October 18, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Bayer CropScience has begun a $33 million renovation at its headquarters in Research Triangle Park. The renovations, which will modernize the 1978-designed building and allow for future growth, are expected to be complete in 2015. Once complete, the remodeled site will accomodate about 700 workers; the agribusiness now employs 500 at RTP and about 140 elsewhere in the Triangle.

Shareholders selling 2.48 million shares of Durham's Chimerix stock

October 18, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Durham drug developer Chimerix announced its big investors are selling 2.48 million shares, or $50 million worth of their stock in the company. Chimerix will receive no money from the stock sale. 

Furloughed employees head back to work after federal shutdown ends

October 18, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

With the federal government's shutdown over, about 2,200 workers from the state Department of Health and Human Services who had been furloughed or seen hours reduced returned to work full time on Thursday. Other smaller state agencies and the North Carolina National Guard, which had announced furloughs of 950 guard civilians and uniformed members, also got back to business as federal funds were restored. 

Biden postpones trip to North Carolina

October 18, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Vice President Joe Biden's planned trip to North Carolina next week has been postponed, according to a spokesman. Biden was scheduled to speak at a Durham fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan. It is not known when the event will be re-scheduled.

Raleigh-based General Parts sold to Advance Auto Parts for $2 billion

October 17, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

General Parts International, which has over 2,600 Carquest auto parts stores nationwide, is being purchased by Virginia-based Advance Auto Parts for $2.04 billion. The companies said the combined retail business will be the top provider of auto replacement parts in North America, with combined sales of $9.2 billion.

Inventory of new homes in Raleigh not enough to meet demand

October 17, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

As demand rises for new homes in the Triangle, inventory levels are not keeping pace as residential building contractors are slow to return to the industry after the recession. Contributing factors are a lack of skilled workers and hesitation to return after the financial devastation in the industry post-recession.

Sen. Rand Paul endorses Brannon for U.S. Senate

October 17, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a national tea party movement leader, endorsed Greg Brannon for U.S. Senate, providing a boost to the candidate's campaign. Brannon will face House Speaker Thom Tillis and Charlotte pastor Mark Harris in the Republican primary. A fourth candidate, Wilkesboro nurse Heather Grant, has filed to run but has not been actively campaigning.

State's bond rating may be downgraded if US defaults

October 16, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

According to state Treasurer Janet Cowell, the partial government shutdown and potential default could hurt the federal government's bond rating and the effect could ripple down to the state level. Cowell said the large military presence here and dependence on federal funds could affect the state's AAA-bond rating.

Apex robotics company to expand, hire 200

October 15, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

ATI Industrial Automation will double its plant capacity and add up to 200 jobs over the next several years. The company, which currently employs about 180 at its Apex headquarters, makes robotics components for industries including aerospace, automotive and medical packaging. 

 

Tobacco capital turns to research on tobacco regulation

October 15, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Once touted as the cigarette capital of the world, North Carolina now has become a center for tobacco control research. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration is funding 14 research centers nationwide to help it regulate tobacco products, two of which are located at UNC Chapel Hill.

State suspends welfare program as federal funds dry up

October 15, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina has halted its Work First welfare program because of the government shutdown. The Department of Health and Human Services has directed county social service directors to stop processing new applications and recertifications for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program as funding is expected to run out soon.

Food banks receive state government donations

October 15, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory announced Monday he is releasing $750,000 from a $3 million appropriation for food banks to be distributed to seven regional food banks. The North Carolina Attorney General's office also will contribute $2 million to statewide food banks, which have experienced increased demand due to the federal government shutdown.

Economist for bankers' group predicts slow growth for economy

October 14, 2013

(The Charlotte Observer)

Harry Davis, economist for the N.C. Bankers Association, says he expects the nation's economy to continue growing at a slow pace and that not enough jobs are being created, especially for high-paying professional positions. On the bright side, Davis said tax and regulatory changes in North Carolina may help the state add jobs next year and lower its unemployment rate.

About 500,000 "too poor" for health insurance without Medicaid expansion

October 14, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

About 500,000 North Carolina residents earning less than 100 percent of the poverty level will not qualify for health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. The plan was written under the assumption that group would receive benefits through the Medicaid expansion, which was rejected by North Carolina along with 25 other states.

State unemployment agency lays off 353

October 14, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A $25 million reduction in state and federal funding led the state agency that provides support to job seekers to lay off 353 workers over the past several months. The N.C. Division of Workforce Solutions spread out the layoffs between May and September to lessen the impact.

Lenovo still world's largest PC maker

October 11, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

China-based Lenovo, which employs 2,000 at a headquarters in Morrisville, maintained the top market share as the world's largest PC maker in the third quarter, ahead of Hewlett-Packard, which also posted sales gains. 

DHHS will resume funding WIC program

October 11, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement Thursday that says it has secured additonal funds to continue issuing WIC vouchers to low-income mothers and young children, reversing a statement Tuesday that said the state would have to stop funding the program due to the federal shutdown.  

Raleigh office building will be converted to condos

October 10, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

White Oak Properties wants to renovate a 47,000-square-feet office building in Raleigh's Hayes Barton neighborhood, modernizing the building and converting it into 39 condominiums. The company will spend $5 million to $6 million on the conversion, and prices will range from $169,000 to $400,000.

State cuts funding for disabled workers amid shutdown

October 10, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state Department of Health and Human Services told 140 employment services agencies it has run out of grant money to pay their contracts, leaving workers with disabilities who are training for new jobs or work with assistants at home as of Wednesday.