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Western

NC Apple Festival kicks off today in Hendersonville

August 29, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Organizers hope cheaper gas prices will allow visitors to spend more at this weekend's annual Apple Festival. Festivalgoers spent more than $12 million on dining, retail and lodging in Henderson County during last year's four-day event.

Chinese lumber company could buy Stanley Furniture plant

August 28, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Tide & Times Group USA, a Chinese-owned lumber exporter with a headquarters in Charlotte, is in talks to buy part of the Graham County manufacturing plant previously occupied by Stanley Furniture (Regional Report, May). Robbinsville Mayor Steve Hooper said the company would hire 20 workers initially and could expand its workforce to 150.

Board finds contractor accountable in Boone motel deaths

August 25, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The N.C. Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating & Fire Sprinkler Contractors suspended one contractor's license for a year and filed a complaint against a second contractor for mistakes at a Boone motel that led to the deaths of three people from carbon monoxide poisoning in 2013.

Success of Cherokee casino threatened by competition

August 25, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

South Carolina-based Catawba Indian Nation hopes to mimic the success of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians by building a $339 million casino in Cleveland County. More than 3 million people a year visit Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort, and the tribe has used a portion of the proceeds to build a new hospital, justice center and schools. 

Lawmakers restore funds for Evergreen Packaging

August 21, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Hours before adjourning its legislative short session on Wednesday, state lawmakers restored a $12 million incentive for Evergreen Packaging's paper mill in Canton that will help pay for new natural-gas boilers to comply with EPA regulations.

House votes against incentives for Canton paper mill

August 20, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The N.C. House defeated a bill Tuesday that included a $12 million incentive to help Evergreen Packaging replace its coal-fired boilers with new natural-gas ones at its Canton paper mill. The Environmental Protection Agency is forcing the company to replace the boilers by 2016, a project the company says will cost $50 million.

Developer hopes Asheville outlets will draw tourists

August 20, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville Outlets, under construction at the site of the former Biltmore Square Mall, will add 1,341 jobs and $33 million in local spending, according to an economic impact study commissioned by the developer. The 325,000-square-foot shopping center will open in spring 2015.

DOT to replace 11 bridges in Western NC

August 19, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The N.C. Department of Transportation will replace 11 bridges in Buncombe, Madison and Mitchell counties that, while deemed safe for use, are costly to maintain due to outdated design standards (NCTrend, August). Mooresville-based Dane Construction was awarded an $11.4 million contract to replace the bridges.

Conspirator sentenced to prison for involvement in real-estate scheme

August 15, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Andrew Quinn Hager was sentenced to eight months in prison for his involvement in the failed Seven Falls development in Henderson County. Hager pleaded guilty in March 2013 to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. 

Sierra Nevada begins public tours at Mills River brewery

August 14, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Sierra Nevada has begun offering free hard-hat tours of its Mills River brewery. The Chico, Calif.-based beer-maker plans to begin full tours in November. Its main brewery has been producing beer for several months. A restaurant, taproom and music venue are planned.

Diamond Brand to open three Asheville stores

August 13, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Diamond Brand, the Fletcher-based manufacturer of tents and outdoor gear, plans to open three retail locations in Asheville this fall. The company has a retail store in Arden.

GOP legislators in Western NC say no shale-gas potential there

August 13, 2014

(The Sylva Herald)

Republican legislators in Western N.C. oppose the state's plan to collect and test rocks in the seven westernmost counties to determine shale-gas potential. Sen. Jim Davis, who co-sponsored the bill that lifted the state's ban on fracking, says it's a waste of money. 

Plastics company to add 80 jobs at Western NC plant

August 12, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Sigma Plastics Group will create 80 jobs at a printing and packaging plant in Transylvania County. The Lyndhurst, N.J.-based company, which makes polyethylene films and bags, will invest $5.5 million in renovations at the former Coats America plant in Rosman.

Hospitality, health care jump ahead of manufacturing in Buncombe County

August 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The health-care and hospitality industries have surged ahead of manufacturing in Buncombe County over the past two decades. The hospitality sector employed 9,709 workers in 1990; today 18,022 are employed in the industry. The number of manufacturing jobs has been cut almost in half.

Vegetable plant business to employ 125 in Henderson County

August 8, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

An international partnership of companies from the U.S., Israel and Italy will create 125 jobs at a plant-grafting business on a 42-acre site in Mills River. Tri-Hishtil will produce plants that are disease resistant without the use of genetically modified organisms, beginning with tomatoes and watermelons.

Wicked Weed expanding in Buncombe County

August 6, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Asheville-based Wicked Weed Brewing will build a new production plant in Buncombe County that will allow it to brew 50,000 barrels of beer a year. The company will invest $5 million in the 40,000-square-foot plant, which is expected to open by fall 2015.

GE Aviation has backlog of orders as Asheville plant nears completion

August 5, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Although GE Aviation has a backlog of $160 billion in orders for jet-engine parts, the company says it needs the support of the U.S. Export-Import Bank to do business in emerging markets. The company plans to hold a grand opening for its new, 170,000-square-foot Asheville plant in October.

AdvantageWest CEO to lead federal agency

August 4, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Scott Hamilton was named executive director of the Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal agency that provides economic grants in rural counties across 13 states in the Appalachian Mountains. Hamilton has been CEO of AdvantageWest, a nonprofit economic-development organization serving Western N.C., since 2009.

New angel investors hope to make Asheville startups fly

August 1, 2014

(The Citizen-Times, Asheville)

The Economic Development Coalition of Asheville and Buncombe County announced plans for a startup investing group, the Asheville Angels, and the revamping of the chamber's local entrepreneurship initiative.

Heist movie turns Asheville into Charlotte

July 30, 2014

The comedy starring Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson and Kristen Wiig transformed the streets of Asheville, making the Buncombe County Courthouse serve Mecklenburg County. The film is based on a real-life robbery in Charlotte in 1997.

Charlotte

NC would have paid $107 million for Toyota

August 29, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

North Carolina was willing to offer Toyota an incentive package worth $107 million to bring its North American headquarters − and 2,900 high-paying jobs − to Charlotte. The automaker instead chose Plano, Texas, where the state provided $40 million but has lower taxes and direct flights to Japan.

'Banshee' leaving Charlotte due to loss of tax credit

August 29, 2014

(WCNC.com)

Officials from "Banshee," the Cinemax television series that has filmed three seasons in Charlotte, say the show will move production to New Orleans due to the pending expiration of the state's film incentive program.

Dollar General still wants to buy Family Dollar

August 29, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Dollar General CEO Rick Dreiling told investors Thursday he is not giving up on efforts to acquire Matthews-based Family Dollar. Analysts say the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based retailer could increase its offer or try to convince Family Dollar shareholders to block the company's pending deal with Chesapeake, Va.-based Dollar Tree.

Monroe paving company CEO pleads guilty to fraud

August 29, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Carl "Drew" Boggs, CEO of Monroe-based Boggs Paving Inc., pleaded guilty Thursday to defrauding state and federal governments. Boggs was charged with receiving $87 million in government contracts by exaggerating the role a minority contractor, also involved in the scheme, would play in the work.

Audits show lack of oversight at Charlotte Douglas airport

August 28, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

External auditors hired by the city of Charlotte found lax oversight at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the nation's eighth-busiest. Interim Aviation Director Brent Cagle attributes the problems to the airport's rapid growth over the past decade.

Chiquita urges shareholders to support Fyffes merger

August 28, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Chiquita Brands International and Irish produce company Fyffes said Wednesday the two companies could save $60 million a year by merging operations, up from a previous estimate of $40 million a year. Chiquita also sent a letter to shareholders urging them to support the planned merger with Fyffes. Brazil-based Cutrale and Safra Group are lobbying shareholders to support their competing buyout offer.

Former Hanesbrands warehouse in Kings Mountain sold for $17 million

August 28, 2014

(The Gaston Gazette)

A 370,000-square-foot warehouse formerly occupied by Winston-Salem-based Hanesbrands has sold for $17.3 million. Broadway Sarasota LLC paid slightly less than $47 per square foot for the property, which was built in 1995 and owned by Sara Lee Corp., which was later bought by Hanesbrands, until 2010.

Brazilian companies seek to block Chiquita-Fyffes merger

August 27, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Two Brazilian companies who made an unsuccessful bid to buy Charlotte-based Chiquita Brands International presented to an advisory group whose recommendation could help sway shareholders to vote against Chiquita's proposed merger with Dublin-based Fyffes.

Redden named new regional president at Wells Fargo

August 27, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Wells Fargo named Rick Redden regional president for the Carolinas. Redden, 44, has been based in Charleston, S.C., as the bank's South Carolina regional president since 2007. He replaces Stan Kelly, who retired at the end of July. 

Hemans chosen to expand retail in uptown Charlotte

August 27, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte Center City Partners has created a new position to bring more retail businesses uptown. Chris Hemans, the economic-development organization's director of business recruitment, will assume the new role as director of retail. 

Union: Tax break for airlines costs NC $10 million a year

August 27, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A union representing 33,000 airport concession and catering workers says North Carolina loses $10 million a year in revenue due to tax breaks on jet fuel costs for airlines. Currently airlines receive refunds for fuel taxes paid more than $2.5 million a year, but that sales-tax cap is set to expire in 2016.

Cannon sentence could come next week

August 27, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon could be sentenced as early as next week, federal documents show. Cannon admitted to accepting more than $50,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents. He resigned in March following his arrest.

Charlotte proposes spending $33.5 million on arena upgrades

August 26, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte City Council members will vote Sept. 8 on spending $27.5 million for improvements to Time Warner Cable Arena, plus another $6 million for maintenance over the next 10 years. The money would come from an existing hotel/motel tax and a car-rental tax.

Event planner Tribble takes job with Wake Forest

August 26, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte event planner Mary Tribble has taken a job in the advancement office of Wake Forest University. Tribble served as chief of events planning for the Democratic National Convention's host committee in 2012. She will remain in Charlotte in her new role.

Charlotte's Duke Energy selling 11 Midwestern power plants for $2.8 billion

August 25, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Duke Energy will sell 11 Midwestern power plants to Houston-based Dynegy for $2.8 billion. The sale will include nine plants in Ohio and one apiece in Illinois and Pennsylvania. Pending regulatory approval, the deal will close by early 2015.

BofA reaches record $17 billion settlement with DOJ

August 22, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Bank of America's $16.65 billion settlement with the federal government includes $7 billion in relief to thousands of mortgage customers in all 50 states. It's the largest settlement ever between the U.S. government and a single corporation.

Analyst: BofA could move HQ to Boston within five years

August 22, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Bank of America may relocate its headquarters from Charlotte to Boston within the next five years, according to banking analyst Dick Bove of Rafferty Capital. Bove told the Wall Street Journal the bank's recent promotion of Thomas Montag to sole chief operating officer is the latest sign of a power shift away from Charlotte. 

Dollar General not giving up after Family Dollar rejects buyout offer

August 22, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Family Dollar Stores rejected Dollar General's $9.7 billion bid on Thursday, citing concern that antitrust regulators would block a merger between the two discount retailers. Dollar General CEO Rick Dreiling said his company is still committed to acquiring Matthews-based Family Dollar.

BofA settlement announcement expected Thursday

August 21, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The U.S. Justice Department is expected to announce a settlement with Bank of America over faulty mortgage bonds Thursday morning. The settlement is expected to be about $16.6 billion, the largest ever between the government and a company.

Private equity firms vying for Huntersville's ATD

August 21, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

American Tire Distributors is for sale, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The Huntersville company, which employs 3,800 and says it is the largest distributor of replacement tires in North America, was bought by private-equity firm TPG Capital for $1.3 billion in 2010. The report says several private equity firms are vying for the company in a deal that could fetch more than $3 billion.

Triad

North State expanding gigabit Internet service

August 29, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

High Point-based North State Communications plans to expand its high-speed gigabit Internet service to more than 50,000 homes and businesses in the Triad by year-end.

New leader named at Northern Hospital

August 29, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Northern Hospital of Surry County named Ned Hill president and CEO effective Oct. 6. Hill, who comes from Memorial Hospital of Carbon County in Wyoming, replaces Bill James, who left to become president of Lexington Medical Center in April.

United Furniture to create 200 jobs in Winston-Salem

August 28, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

United Furniture will create 200 jobs in a manufacturing and distribution center at the former Hanesbrands' Weeks Plant in Winston-Salem (Regional Report, January). The Okolona, Miss.-based company will invest $5.2 million over three years in the 850,000-square-foot plant. The company employs 940 at three other North Carolina locations. 

BB&T promotes Brown to president

August 28, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Winston-Salem-based BB&T Corp. named Ricky Brown president of the bank, effective immediately. He replaces Rob Greene, who retired after nearly 20 years in the position. Brown has worked for BB&T since 1977, and has served as president of the community banking division since 2004.

Skills gap leaves 1,500 jobs vacant in Guilford County

August 28, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Guilford County businesses have 1,500 open jobs and not enough skilled workers to fill them, based on the results of a survey released Wednesday. Skilled trades, engineering, and machining are among the industries struggling the most to find qualified workers.

Wake Forest requests brownfields approval for research park

August 27, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Wake Forest Innovation Quarter is asking for state help to redevelop a 51.7-acre site in its downtown Winston-Salem research park. A brownfields certification from the state would allow the park to receive tax credits to help pay for cleanup costs of the property, which is likely contaminated due to previous commercial and industrial use.

Akin to become CEO of Cone Health Oct. 1

August 27, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Terry Akin will become chief executive officer of Greensboro-based Cone Health effective Oct. 1, three months earlier than previously announced. Akin, currently president and chief operating officer, will replace Tim Rice, who is retiring.

Hundreds question safety of fracking at Reidsville hearing

August 26, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

About 450 people turned out Monday for a four-hour hearing on fracking in Rockingham County. About 100 people spoke at the public meeting, the third such one held this month by the state Mining and Energy Commission. The next public hearing will be held Sept. 12 at Western Carolina University.

Cereal maker to open Winston-Salem distribution center

August 26, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Lakeville, Minn.-based MOM Brands, formerly known as Malt-O-Meal, has leased a 316,000-square-foot space in Winston-Salem where the cereal manufacturer plans to open a distribution center. 

American Heart Association says e-cigs may help smokers quit

August 26, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

In a policy statement, the American Heart Association says electronic cigarettes could be used as a last resort to help people quit smoking. The association also recommends more regulation and research into the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes.

Burlington Technologies buys Pa. fabric maker

August 26, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Gibsonville-based Burlington Technologies acquired Keystone Weaving, a Lebanon, Pa.-based fabric manufacturer. Burlington plans to move Keystone's looms to Gibsonville and consolidate operations, creating 26 jobs.

Lump-sum pension payments boost pay for Novant execs

August 26, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Some executives of Winston-Salem-based Novant Health brought home compensation in 2013 that was up to nine times the amount they made the previous year. The health-care system distributed one-time pension payouts as a result of a switching its retirement plan to one similar to a 401(k).

Coal-ash warnings arrived late, officials say

August 25, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

The director of Rockingham County's emergency management program wonders why Duke Energy officials didn't notify local emergency crews as soon as they discovered a coal-ash spill into the Dan River on Feb. 2. State environmental regulators say they weren't alerted to potential contamination of the area's water supply until about 18 hours after it was first detected by a Duke security guard.

Veterinary supplier creating 47 jobs in Guilford County

August 22, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

MWI Veterinary Supply will open a distribution center in Browns Summit by Oct. 1. The Boise, Idaho-based company will invest $3.15 million and create 47 jobs at the site. The company sells veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and related products.

Guilford officials tell Greensboro Partnership not to rush in choosing new CEO

August 22, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Guilford County commissioners urged the Greensboro Partnership to take its time in hiring a new leader. The economic-development group plans to change its organizational structure following the retirement of former president and CEO Pat Danahy at the end of the year.

BB&T confirms unspecified number of job cuts

August 21, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Winston-Salem-based BB&T confirmed Wednesday that it is cutting a small percentage of its workforce, though the company declined to provide the number of affected employees or if any local or state jobs would be eliminated.

Yarn maker expanding in Burlington

August 21, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

CS Carolina will invest $7.3 million and create 22 jobs at a yarn-manufacturing plant in Burlington. The company also plans to move 27 workers from Swepsonville to the Burlington plant.

Creative Loafing Charlotte sold to Triad publisher

August 20, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Jamestown-based Womack Newspapers Inc., publisher of Greensboro-based YES! Weekly, will acquire Creative Loafing Charlotte. Terms of the deal, expected to close by the end of the month, weren't disclosed.

ZeekRewards receiver looks to reclaim funds from overseas 'net winners'

August 19, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The receiver in the Lexington-based ZeekRewards.com case received permission to pursue claims from "winners" − those who had a net gain of at least $1,000 in the Ponzi scheme − in foreign countries.

Wal-Mart has until 2019 to fill distribution center jobs

August 19, 2014

(The Times-News, Burlington)

Wal-Mart has until 2019 to hire 450 workers at a new, $85 million Alamance County distribution center in order to receive local incentives. An earlier agreement with local governments would have required the retailer to fill the jobs by 2018, but that was based on an incorrect project completion date. 

 

Triangle

Red Hat CTO stepping down Sept. 5

August 29, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Brian Stevens, chief technology officer at Raleigh-based Red Hat, will step down Sept. 5 to pursue another opportunity. Stevens joined the open-source software provider in 2001 and became CTO in 2005.

Economic development leaders call for special legislative session over incentives

August 28, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker says the state Job Development Investment Grant fund could run out of money by late October unless legislators increase incentives. Decker says the state is pursuing a project that would take 80% of the remaining funds if the company decides to locate in North Carolina. 

Highwoods sells 11 non-core properties in Richmond, Va.

August 27, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh's Highwoods Properties sold 11 buildings totaling 359,000 square feet in Richmond, Va., for $40.7 million. The real estate investment trust has sold $103.4 million of its non-core properties this year.

Duke Energy Progress requests permission to cut residential solar rebates

August 26, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Duke Energy Progress wants to reduce the amount of upfront rebates for more than 500 homeowners that use rooftop solar arrays from $500 to $250 per kilowatt. Homes with solar panels currently receive upfront rebates between $1,000 and $5,000, plus monthly credits.

Chapel Hill drug developer raises $7.5 million

August 26, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Chapel Hill-based drug developer Heat Biologics received $7.5 million in debt financing from Durham-based Square 1 Bank. The company is developing treatments for bladder cancer and lung cancer.

Durham's Argos leases land for new $41M headquarters

August 25, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Argos Therapeutics signed a 10-year lease in Durham County where the drug developer will invest $41 million to build a new headquarters and manufacturing plant. Argos, which raised $45 million in an initial public offering in February, plans to create 236 new jobs by 2018.

Organic poultry company to renovate former Townsends plant in Siler City

August 25, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Carolina Premium Foods plans to invest $4 million to renovate a former Townsends chicken-processing plant in Siler City. The Whispering Pines-based company, which produces organic, free-range poultry products, expects to create 300 jobs within five years.

Hundreds attend Sanford fracking hearing

August 25, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

More than 400 people attended a four-hour hearing on fracking for natural gas in Sanford Friday. The majority of the 85 speakers voiced opposition to the practice, which supporters say will create jobs in the area. 

Lee County to host public fracking meeting

August 22, 2014

(WRAL.com)

Sanford residents will attend a public hearing Friday evening to voice opinions on hydraulic fracturing. Lee County is in the heart of the Deep River Basin, which scientists believe to be the most promising site in the state for shale gas potential (Statewide, Triangle Region, July). The public meeting is one of four planned by the state Mining and Energy Commission. 

Raleigh apartment complex sells for $50 million

August 22, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Legacy at Wakefield, a 369-unit apartment complex in north Raleigh, sold for $50.5 million to Carter-Haston, a Nashville, Tenn.-based investment and property-management company.

Cary-based Ply Gem to acquire Ohio window company for $130M

August 21, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Cary-based Ply Gem Holdings will pay $130 million for Simonton Windows, a Columbus, Ohio-based vinyl window and door manufacturer with annual revenues of more than $300 million. Ply Gem makes vinyl siding, doors and windows and employs more than 6,200 people in North America.

Smith Center renovation plans on hold

August 21, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Plans to renovate or replace the Smith Center at UNC Chapel Hill have been placed "on the back burner," according to Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham. Retrofitting the arena, which opened in 1986, with features including luxury boxes and premium seating could cost tens of millions of dollars. 

Four Oaks Bank raises $24 million through stock offering

August 20, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Four Oaks Bank raised $24 million in a common stock offering priced at $1 per share. The Johnston County bank says the new capital will help it comply with a 2011 agreement with state and federal regulators and will allow it to expand its loan portfolio.

Moore County delays agreement on 3,000-acre megapark

August 20, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Moore County commissioners decided to delay an agreement with Montgomery County on a 3,000-acre industrial park. County leaders say they support the project but want to simplify the terms of the agreement. Two-thirds of the proposed site is in Moore County.

Wake County to hit 1 million residents Friday

August 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Based on the average growth rate of 62 people a day, Wake County is expected to reach the milestone of 1 million residents on Friday. The majority of Wake's growth comes from net migration − about two thirds of new residents come from other states, foreign countries and other counties in North Carolina.

Silicon Valley venture-capital firm looking to RTP for opportunities

August 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

HealthQuest Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture-capital firm, is looking to invest in life-sciences companies in North Carolina and other parts of the Southeast. The firm was founded by Garheng Kong, a former partner at Durham's Intersouth Partners, who says the region has long been underfunded when it comes to venture-capital investments.

Mark Martin named chief justice of NC Supreme Court

August 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory appointed Mark Martin chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court. Martin, a Republican and senior associate justice since 2006, will replace Sarah Parker, who is retiring at the end of August, and will serve in the position for the next two months. He is seeking election to the seat in November.

Federal government approves Lenovo-IBM server deal

August 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The U.S. government approved Lenovo's pending $2.3 billion acquisition of IBM's low-end server unit. China-based Lenovo expects the deal, which will nearly double its Triangle employment of 2,200, to close by year-end.  

New law requires 3-judge panel for constitutional cases

August 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A new state law will require a panel of three judges, appointed by the chief justice of the state Supreme Court, to preside over constitutional challenges to laws. The state legislature passed the law to prevent plaintiffs from shopping for judges who they believe are likely to block laws approved by legislators.

NC to pay off federal unemployment debt sooner than planned

August 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina says it is ahead of schedule on paying off federal debt amassed to pay off unemployment benefits after the Great Recession. The state now owes less than $600 million, down from a peak of $2.8 billion, and expects to pay it off by August 2015, earlier than its target date of November 2015.

Eastern

Dosher Memorial to lay off 31 workers

August 29, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Dosher Memorial Hospital confirmed it will lay off 31 of its approximately 350 workers, cut hours for some employees, and offer early retirement to 38 others. The Southport hospital has experienced a decline in patient numbers and lost about $1.3 million in the first nine months of the current fiscal year.

App developer Next Glass moving HQ to downtown Wilmington

August 28, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Next Glass, a Wilmington-based startup that is developing an app that provides beer and wine recommendations, will move its headquarters to an 11,000-square-foot space in downtown Wilmington. The company will invest $2 million in the space and could add more than 30 employees to its existing 16.

Southport hospital plans job cuts

August 28, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The board of trustees for 25-bed Dosher Memorial Hospital decided to offer early retirement to some employees to reduce staff. The Southport hospital has seen a decline in the number of patients over the past year and had a negative operating margin of 3.06% in fiscal 2013.

Wilson asks FCC for permission to expand municipal Internet service

August 28, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Wilson is asking the Federal Communications Commission to override North Carolina's telecommunications law and allow it to expand its Greenlight high-speed Internet service to nearby communities. The city wants to expand the service to about 7,600 households in Wilson County and about 1,000 households in neighboring counties.

Southeastern NC legislators frustrated after short session

August 28, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Legislators from Southeastern N.C. left the General Assembly's short session frustrated as film incentives were significantly reduced and prospects of gaining more than 1,000 jobs and a proposed tire plant were diminished when legislators voted against establishing a $20 million "closing fund" for corporate recruiting.

Wilmington leaders want legislature to reconvene over film incentives

August 27, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Wilmington and New Hanover County leaders plan to send a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory requesting he reconvene the General Assembly to discuss changes to the state's film incentive program, which they say will cost the area jobs. Legislators changed the current incentive, which has no cap, to a $10 million grant. North Carolina gave out $61 million in tax credits in 2013 to film productions.

Fayetteville officials to hold public meeting on proposed poultry plant

August 26, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The Fayetteville Regional Chamber will host a public meeting Sept. 2 to discuss Sanderson Farms' proposed $113 million chicken-processing plant. Opponents to the plant, which would create about 1,000 jobs, have voiced concerns over traffic, feathers, noise and potential groundwater contamination.

Wilmington's PPD names new CFO

August 27, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

PPD named Robert Hureau executive vice president and chief financial officer effective Sept. 23. He comes from Centaur Guernsey L.P., a San Antonio, Texas-based medical technology company, where he served in the same roles.

DENR to fine Duke Energy over coal-ash pollution at Sutton plant

August 27, 2014

(WRAL.com)

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources issued a violation notice to Duke Energy over ongoing groundwater contamination at the utility's Sutton plant in New Hanover County.

Timeline uncertain for coastal wind-farm development

August 26, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

At least five companies have expressed interest in developing offshore wind projects in North Carolina, though it is unclear when construction could begin. The federal government identified three offshore parcels for potential wind-energy development, including two south of Wilmington and one near Kitty Hawk.

Former Hardee's exec gets promotion

August 26, 2014

(Rocky Mount Telegram)

Ned Lyerly became president of California-based CKE Restaurants' international division July 16. Lyerly worked for CKE and Hardee's in Raleigh and Rocky Mount from 1984 to 2001. CKE is the parent of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurant chains. 

Hundreds of film supporters gather in Wilmington

August 25, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Several hundred crew members, vendors and others gathered for a group photo at Wilmington's Battleship Park to show support for the local film industry. The state legislature will allow the current incentive program to expire Jan. 1, 2015 and will replace it with a $10 million grant program.

Coastal Federation to help develop economic-development model for Wilmington area

August 22, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The N.C. Coastal Federation launched an initiative to establish a model industrial development process for Wilmington and New Hanover County that will help preserve the area's natural resources.

Projections show Fort Bragg population to hold steady through 2020

August 22, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Department of Defense projections show that Fort Bragg's population of about 57,000 troops would be reduced to about 54,000 in fiscal year 2020, while the number of civilian employees will remain about the same at more than 14,400.

Lawmakers' vote may cost Wilmington area Continental Tire plant

August 21, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The incentives bill that was voted down by state legislators may have cost Brunswick County a Continental Tire plant and more than a thousand jobs. The German tire manufacturer is reported to be looking at a site near the Brunswick-Columbus county line.

NC Supreme Court upholds rate hike for former Progress customers

August 21, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The state Supreme Court upheld Duke Energy's rate increase of 7.5% for residential customers of its Duke Energy Progress subsidiary. State Attorney General Roy Cooper had appealed the rate hike, which affects 1.3 million customers in Eastern N.C. and Asheville.

Family establishes commercial real estate firm in Wilmington

August 20, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

A family of brokers who worked the past five years with Coldwell Banker Commercial Sun Coast Partners has started their own commercial real estate company, Eastern Carolinas Commercial Real Estate. 

Fayetteville could get call center, 500 jobs

August 19, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

An unnamed company is considering downtown Fayetteville for a call center that would employ 500 people. The company is also considering Georgia and Tennessee for the jobs.

Passenger traffic declines at Wilmington airport

August 19, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Passenger numbers are falling at Wilmington International Airport, though flights are nearly full. Airport Director Jon Rosborough says airlines are replacing their fleets of regional jets but aren't increasing the number of departures.

Sound Bank expands in New Bern

August 18, 2014

(Sun Journal, New Bern)

Sound Bank, a Morehead City-based community bank with more than $135 million in assets, opened a branch in New Bern, where it already operates a loan-production office. The bank acquired the branch from Raleigh-based VantageSouth Bank, which merged with Yadkin Bank in July.