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Western

Mountain BizWorks names new executive director

July 23, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Patrick Fitzsimmons has been named executive director of Mountain BizWorks. Fitzsimmons was executive director of the Western N.C. region of the American Red Cross from 2004 to 2012. The Asheville-based non-profit organization provides loans to small businesses in Western N.C.

Facebook helping Rutherford County students get free Wi-Fi

July 22, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Students in Rutherford County will receive free Wi-Fi access at their homes through a pilot program sponsored by Facebook, PANGAEA Internet and local governments. Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook opened a data center in Forest City in 2012.

Henderson County apple crops largely unaffected by spring storms

July 21, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Despite unseasonably cold temperatures and spring hailstorms, apple growers in Henderson County say crops suffered little damage. The annual North Carolina Apple Festival begins Aug. 29.

Fracking possible in Nantahala, Pisgah national forests

July 17, 2014

(Watauga Democrat)

The U.S. Forest Service acknowledged in a statement the potential for fracking for natural gas in the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests. North Carolina is studying potential shale-gas deposits in Western counties.

Brevard becoming hub for mountain biking

July 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The Brevard area, with access to trails in DuPont and Pisgah national forests, is becoming a mecca for mountain bikers. "It's a hobby that brings money to the area," says Brevard City Council member Wes Dickson.

Beer festival could be Western NC's largest ever

July 15, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp Across America could be the biggest beer festival ever held in Western N.C. Up to 5,000 tickets will be sold, and 120 breweries will be represented at the Aug. 3 event in Mills River.

Duke LifePoint to buy MedWest Haywood hospital

July 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Duke LifePoint Healthcare will purchase MedWest Haywood in Clyde for $26 million. The Brentwood, Tenn.-based company plans to invest $36 million in capital improvements at the 169-bed hospital over the next 10 years. If the county approves the deal, the sale could close on July 31.

Asheville soda-maker signs distribution agreement with RC Cola

July 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Soft drinks made by Asheville-based Blue Blaze Soda Co. will be available at Western N.C. restaurants through a distribution agreement with RC Cola. Blue Blaze sodas are all-natural and do not contain high-fructose corn syrup.

UNCA submits three candidates for chancellor

July 8, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

UNC Asheville's Board of Trustees approved three candidates for the school's chancellor position, which will be vacated at the end of the month when Anne Ponder retires. UNC System President Tom Ross is expected to make his recommendation to the UNC Board of Governors, which could approve the new chancellor when it meets Aug.1.

Cider production growing in Western NC

July 7, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Some Western N.C. apple farmers are benefiting from a boom in cider production, which has increased almost 1,000% in the past few years. Cider makers are looking to expand in North Carolina, which is the seventh-largest apple-producing state in the U.S. 

Panel rejects complaint against Moffitt

July 1, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A second regulatory panel has rejected a claim made by the Democratic opponent of N.C. Rep. Tim Moffitt of Buncombe County. Brian Turner says Moffitt offered him a state job to pull out of this fall's election. 

Firework sales pop — but not in North Carolina

June 30, 2014

(Citizen-Times, Asheville)

The migration of Tar Heels to surrounding states to secure fireworks around the Fourth of July holiday underscores the annual tax revenue lost by North Carolina, which has more restrictive laws.

$100M equestrian center to open in Polk County

June 26, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A $100 million equestrian center and resort will open in Polk County this summer. Tryon Resort includes five horse rings with 500 horse stables, and future plans include a 6,000-seat outdoor stadium and additional horse rings and stables. Lodging, including a 150-room hotel that will open in 2017, will be operated by Middleburg, Va.-based Salamander Hotels & Resorts.

Asheville airport building new runway

June 24, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville Regional Airport will begin the first phase of a four-year, $64 million project that includes the replacement of its 50-year-old runway. The Federal Aviation Administration will provide $6.5 million for construction of the new runway and a west-side taxiway. A groundbreaking will be held Aug. 8.

Brad Daugherty to open Asheville restaurant

June 20, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Black Mountain native Brad Daugherty will open Daugherty's American Kitchen and Drink, a seafood-heavy "casual-upscale" restaurant in south Asheville on July 16. It will be the first restaurant for the former NBA star and NASCAR analyst.

Asheville energy company building 38 megawatts of solar farms across NC

June 19, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

After receiving a multi-million-dollar investment earlier this year, FLS Energy will begin construction on eight solar farms in North Carolina that will produce 56 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Duke Energy will purchase electricity generated from the solar systems.

Oskar Blues to open ranch for mountain biking, events

June 18, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Oskar Blues Brewery will open a 145-acre farm with mountain-biking trails and music and event space about 8 miles from its Brevard brewery. The REEB Ranch also will have a bike-tour service, on-site lodging and tent camping.

DENR: Duke must fix leaky pipes at coal-ash ponds

June 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources has ordered Duke Energy to fix leaky pipes at coal-ash ponds at five power plants in Western N.C. The Charlotte utility has until July 17 to submit a schedule for the repairs.

Canadian sock manufacturer to create 205 jobs in Burke County

June 17, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Canada-based Richelieu Legwear will create 205 jobs and invest $16 million by the end of 2018 in a sock-manufacturing plant in Burke County. The company, which currently employs 60 at a plant in Hildebran, will receive up to $2.9 million in state incentives if it meets job-creation targets.

Asheville a Top 10 Foodie City

June 17, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Livability.com ranked Asheville No. 4 on its list of Top Ten Foodie Cities for 2014. The website cited restaurants' use of products from local farms, the area's 18 craft breweries and James Beard-nominated chefs.

Charlotte

Spectra Group bringing 250 jobs to Charlotte

July 23, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Princeton, N.J.-based Spectra Group will open a Charlotte office, creating 250 jobs with an average annual salary of $84,996. The jobs will be based in downtown's BB&T Center and will provide services for the financial industry.

Sales of preowned vehicles boost revenue for Charlotte's Sonic Automotive

July 23, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Sonic Automotive Inc. reported revenue of $2.4 billion in the second quarter, led by a 12% increase in sales of preowned vehicles. Net income for the Charlotte-based auto retailer rose to $27 million compared with $8.9 million in the second quarter a year ago. (Read more about Sonic and founder Bruton Smith in our August 2013 cover story).

Charlotte developer plans new Lake Norman community

July 22, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Simonini Group will develop a mixed-use community with 220 single-family homes, 240 apartments and 100,000 square feet of retail on 116 acres in eastern Lincoln County.

BBB releases list of Charlotte companies with most complaints

July 22, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The Better Business Bureau has released its annual "Dirty Half-Dozen" list of businesses in the Charlotte area that received the most unanswered consumer complaints during the first half of 2014.

Zoning amendment makes it easier for Charlotte breweries to expand

July 22, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The Charlotte City Council voted to change zoning regulations to reduce the required distance between residential areas and bars, restaurants and nightclubs from 400 feet to 100 feet. The change gives breweries in neighborhoods such as Charlotte's NoDa more expansion opportunities.

Google Fiber team studying Charlotte proposal

July 21, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Google is reviewing Charlotte's plan to bring its high-speed Google Fiber network to the city. Representatives from the Mountain View, Calif.-based tech company have been surveying land and have met with city planners to discuss permits. Google will announce by year-end whether it will build the network in Charlotte.

Microsoft to lay off 18,000 workers

July 18, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Microsoft Corp. will cut 18,000 jobs − about 14% of its workforce − worldwide in the largest layoffs in the technology company's history. The Redmond, Wash.-based company employs about 1,200 in North Carolina, most in Charlotte, thought it is unknown if any of those jobs will be affected. 

Charlotte Cafe files for bankruptcy protection

July 18, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte Cafe, a 33-year-old restaurant located in Park Road Shopping Center, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection but plans to stay open during the reorganization. Owner Jimmy Roupas blamed increased food costs and debts stemming back to the recession.

Icahn says Levine shouldn't be CEO of Family Dollar

July 17, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Investor Carl Icahn criticized Family Dollar's management and said Leon Levine should not be CEO of the Matthews-based company. Icahn acquired a 9.4% stake in the discount retailer last month and has been trying to force a sale of the company. 

BofA raises settlement offer with Justice Department

July 17, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Bank of America has resumed talks with the U.S. Department of Justice and has offered a settlement of $12 billion to resolve probes related to mortgage-backed bonds it sold to investors prior to the financial crisis. Second-quarter profits fell 43%, due in part to $4 billion in legal expenses.

CoreLogic to close Charlotte office

July 16, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Irvine, Calif.-based CoreLogic will close its Charlotte office, laying off 46 workers by October. The company provides real-estate data and mortgage-document processing.

Citigroup agrees to $7B mortgage settlement

July 15, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Following Citigroup's announcement of a $7 billion settlement to resolve claims over securities tied to risky mortgages, experts say Bank of America is likely to settle over similar claims rather than go to trial. Talks between the bank and the Justice Department stalled in June after BofA offered to pay about $5 billion less than the $17 billion the Justice Department was seeking.

Panthers stadium upgrades near completion

July 15, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The Carolina Panthers will unveil the first phase of a $125 million renovation at the team’s annual FanFest on July 25. The first phase of upgrades, which includes new escalators and video boards, cost $65 million.

FedEx to build $41 million distribution center in Concord

July 14, 2014

(The Independent Tribune, Concord)

FedEx will invest $41 million in a 330,780-square-foot distribution center in Concord, where it plans to employ 59 full-time and 462 part-time workers by the end of 2019. Some employees will be transferred from the company's current operation in Charlotte.

Charlotte's Food Babe has followers, critics

July 14, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte-based food blogger Vani Hari has gained national attention for her online campaigns against food companies, but some question the validity of her claims and criticize her for taking more credit than she deserves in influencing companies to make changes to their products.

Family Dollar to make changes after profits fall

July 11, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Profits at Family Dollar fell 33% in its third quarter compared with the same period a year ago, the Matthews-based company reported Thursday. The discount retailer plans to begin selling alcohol and expand its selection of frozen- and refrigerated-food items.

Keurig to make coffee products for Harris Teeter

July 11, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Vermont-based Keurig Green Mountain will manufacture K-Cup single-serve coffee packs for Harris Teeter. The Matthews-based grocery-store chain, which is owned by Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., will sell the products, branded with the Harris Teeter name, in supermarkets and online.

Allegiant Air adding flights in Concord

July 10, 2014

(Independent Tribune, Concord)

Allegiant Airlines will add six weekly flights to three additional Florida destinations from Concord Regional Airport beginning in October. The Las Vegas-based airline began service from Concord to Orlando in December with two weekly flights.

BofA again seeking dividend increase

July 10, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Bank of America again wants to raise its quarterly dividend to 5 cents a share, according to The Wall Street Journal. The bank had planned increasing its dividend from 1 cent earlier this year, but had to suspend that plan when it realized it had made accounting errors in its capital plan.

US Attorney General refuses to meet with BofA CEO

July 10, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder declined to meet with Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan to discuss a potential settlement over mortgage-related probes. The Justice Department sought a $17 billion settlement and ended talks with the Charlotte-based bank after it offered to pay about $12 billion.

Triad

Heritage Home moving headquarters to High Point

July 23, 2014

(High Point Enterprise)

Heritage Home Group will move its headquarters from St. Louis to High Point, where it will employ about 300. Heritage Home was formed last year when KPS Capital Partners bought assets of Furniture Brands International out of bankruptcy.

Herbalife stock soars 25% after Ackman presentation

July 23, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Following hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman's attempt to expose Herbalife Inc. as a pyramid scheme in a three-hour presentation on Tuesday, investors seemed unfazed by his criticism and the company's stock rose $13.75 to $67.77. 

Greensboro's Natty Greene's expanding despite trademark battle

July 23, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Natty Greene's is undergoing a third expansion at its Greensboro brewery, and other cities have shown interest in the brand. Meanwhile, the brewer is battling Anheuser-Busch, which filed an opposition to its trademark application over the "Natty" name.

Hatteras Financial reports second quarter loss

July 23, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Hatteras Financial Corp., a Winston-Salem-based mortgage real estate investment trust, reported a $17.9 million loss for the second quarter. 

BB&T's second quarter profits down 22.3%

July 22, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

BB&T Corp. reported net income of $425 million for the second quarter compared with $547 million for the same period a year ago. The 22.3% drop was due to mortgage- and tax-related charges totaling $88 million. 

Ackman says he can prove Herbalife is a pyramid scheme

July 22, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman will hold a presentation Tuesday that he says will prove Los Angeles-based Herbalife is a fraud. The founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management claims the vitamin company is a pyramid scheme. Herbalife is investing $130 million in a plant in Winston-Salem, where it plans to employ nearly 500 people by the end of 2015.

Punitive damages likely to be reduced in RJ Reynolds case

July 22, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The $23.6 billion in punitive damages awarded by a Florida jury last week is likely to be reduced or overturned, according to industry analysts. A spokesman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. has said it will appeal the ruling.

RJ Reynolds to fight $23.6 billion verdict

July 21, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. says it will appeal a verdict in a lawsuit that would require it to pay $23.6 billion in punitive damages to the widow of a smoker who died of lung cancer in 1996. A Florida jury awarded the damages on Friday, a day after Cynthia Robinson was awarded $16.8 million in compensatory damages.

Bank of the Carolinas adopts poison pill to avoid hostile takeover

July 21, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Mocksville-based Bank of the Carolinas will adopt a poison pill strategy to prevent an unwanted takeover. The bank announced last week it had raised $45.8 million in private-equity funding.

NewBridge establishes middle-market banking team in Charlotte

July 21, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Greensboro-based NewBridge Bank has created a banking group in Charlotte to serve companies with annual revenue between $25 million and $250 million.  The six-person team will be led by Michael McMahan, a former Bank of America executive. The bank plans to expand the team in the Triad and Triangle areas.

Former Lorillard CEO to lead integration of tobacco companies

July 18, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Former Lorillard CEO Martin Orlowsky was named executive chairman designate of United Kingdom-based Imperial Tobacco, which plans to take over Lorillard's Greensboro manufacturing operations. Orlowsky was CEO of the Greensboro-based tobacco company from 1999 until his retirement in 2010.

Greensboro developer reveals details of $50 million downtown project

July 18, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Roy Carroll, founder and CEO of The Carroll Cos., revealed plans Wednesday for a 4-acre, $50 million mixed-use project in downtown Greensboro that will include a 100-room hotel and 300 apartments. 

Bank of the Carolinas raises $45.8 million

July 17, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Bank of the Carolinas Corp. has raised $45.8 million in private-equity funding through a discounted stock offering of 10 cents a share. The Mocksville-based bank plans to use $34.8 million of the proceeds as a capital infusion for its bank subsidiary. 

Tobacco merger 'best possible outcome' for Triad

July 16, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Reynolds American CEO Susan Cameron says there should be no job cuts in Forsyth County related to the tobacco company's $27.4 billion acquisition of Greensboro-based Lorillard. Gayle Anderson, president of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, said the deal, expected to close in the first half of 2015, is "the best possible outcome for the Triad," with regards to preserving tobacco-industry presence in Winston-Salem and Greensboro.

Heart disease cause of Crisco's death

July 16, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh) 

Former N.C. Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco died of heart disease and high blood pressure, according to an autopsy released Tuesday. Crisco, 71, collapsed at his Asheboro home on May 12.

Stanley Furniture reports $19.1 million loss in second quarter

July 16, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

High Point-based Stanley Furniture Industries reported a second quarter loss of $19.1 million, compared with a $3.5 million loss a year ago. The company said it took a $16.2 million restructuring charge related to closing its Robbinsville plant (Regional Report, May) which ended its domestic production.

Imperial Tobacco hopes to revive Winston brand

July 16, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Imperial Tobacco Group said it plans to make Winston brand cigarettes the face of its U.S. marketing strategy and will distribute blu eCigs, the top-selling U.S. electronic cigarette brand, worldwide. 

Walker defeats Berger in 6th District GOP primary

July 16, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Mark Walker defeated Phil Berger Jr. in a runoff election of the Republican primary for the 6th Congressional District on Tuesday. Unofficial returns show Walker earned 60% of the vote, despite Berger's deep political connections in North Carolina.

Reynolds American to buy Lorillard for $27.4 billion

July 15, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Winston-Salem-based Reynolds American has agreed to purchase Greensboro-based Lorillard for $27.4 billion. As part of the deal, United Kingdom-based Imperial Tobacco Group will buy selected brands including blu eCigs and will acquire Lorillard's Greensboro manufacturing operations where the tobacco company employs 2,900.

Experts weigh in on potential tobacco merger

July 15, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

A potential acquisition of Greensboro-based Lorillard by Winston-Salem-based Reynolds American could lead to hundreds of job cuts as the combined company would look to achieve cost savings of up to $900 million, according to one analyst.

Triangle

Zipper maker expanding in Oxford

July 23, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Ideal Fastener Corp. will invest more than $5.7 million in its Granville County plant and will add 155 jobs over five years. The second-largest zipper manufacturer in the world, Ideal employs 226 at its manufacturing headquarters in Oxford.

Morrisville's Gentris acquired by Cancer Genetics

July 23, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Rutherford, N.J.-based Cancer Genetics completed its $6.25 million acquisition of Gentris Corp. The Morrisville-based company works with pharmaceutical companies to integrate pharmacogenomics into clinical trials. Gentris' 40 employees will keep their jobs.

UNC Health Care poised for rebound in 2015

July 22, 2014

(The Herald-Sun, Durham)

The UNC Health Care board of directors expects the system will post a profit of $104 million for fiscal 2015. The hospital system, which includes eight medical centers, has projected a loss of $12.2 million for fiscal 2014, largely due to its investment in a new electronic health record system.

GE adding 60 jobs at Mebane plant

July 22, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

GE Industrial Solutions will add a new production line and create 60 new jobs by the end of 2015 at its Mebane plant, where it employs more than 500. Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric employs more than 4,850 across North Carolina.

State Rep. Jim Fulghum dies at 70

July 21, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina Rep. Jim Fulghum, 70, died Saturday. The Wake County Republican was diagnosed with metastatic esophageal cancer three weeks before his death. A retired neurosurgeon, the Raleigh native was first elected to the House in 2012.

Another weak quarter for Triangle venture capital funding

July 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Eight Triangle startups raised $22 million in venture capital in the second quarter, the lowest amount in two years. Raleigh-based Valencell, which makes wearable technology devices to monitor health data, raised the most with $7 million.

Salix drug gets FDA approval

July 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug co-developed by Salix Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of swelling of the skin similar to hives. Salix has said annual sales of Ruconest could reach $87 million.

Merz Pharma moving North American headquarters to Raleigh

July 17, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Merz Pharma will move its North American headquarters from High Point to Raleigh. The German company, which makes skin-care products for the treatment of fungal infections, wrinkles and scars, employs 193 in High Point. It expects to add about 50 jobs.

Boy treated with Chimerix drug going home

July 17, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

An 8-year-old boy who received an experimental antiviral drug from Durham-based Chimerix was scheduled to be released from St. Jude's Children's Hospital on Wednesday. Josh Hardy's family led a social-media campaign to convince the drug developer to give him the drug, which had not been approved by the FDA.

FirstHealth seeks to expand in Moore County

July 16, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

FirstHealth of the Carolinas is seeking approval for a $15.3 million expansion that would add 25 beds to the 312-bed medical center in Moore County. According to an application filed with the Department of Health and Human Services, the addition would be completed by October 2016.

Cary-based CRO to merge with Chiltern

July 16, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

United Kingdom-based Chiltern, a contract research organization with operations in Wilmington, will acquire Cary-based Ockham, which employs 400 worldwide. 

Vermont company acquires Raleigh's Gamila Products

July 16, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based Gamila products was acquired by Vermont-based Seventh Generation, which sells environmentally friendly household and personal-care products. Gamila sells products for brewing single-servings of coffee and tea.

IT company could bring 1,200 jobs to Cary

July 15, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina is offering more than $17 million in incentives to lure a technology and engineering company to Cary. The unidentified company would create 1,237 jobs over three years.

Johnston Community College opts out of federal student loans

July 15, 2014

(Smithfield Herald)

Students at Johnston Community College can no longer receive student loans from the federal government. The school opted out of the program due to a rising default rate that could jeopardize its federal funding.

WakeMed, UNC Hospitals face penalties under new Medicare rating system

July 15, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh's WakeMed and Chapel Hill's UNC Hospitals could face millions of dollars in penalties under the Affordable Care Act. The hospitals are among 16 in North Carolina that Medicare has listed as the "worst-performing" regarding patient complications and infections.

AG's office sues Burlington kitchen remodeler

July 15, 2014

(WRAL.com)

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper filed a lawsuit against American Kitchen Corp., a Burlington-based home-improvement company that 38 homeowners say took upfront payments from them and failed to finish the jobs.

Merger approved for New Century, Select Bank

July 14, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

State and federal regulators approved a merger between Dunn-based New Century Bancorp and Greenville-based Select Bank & Trust. The merger is expected to close on July 25. The combined bank will have 14 branches and will operate as Select Bank.

PSNC Energy plans Triangle pipeline extension

July 14, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gastonia-based PSNC Energy is considering a pipeline extension to meet increased demand for natural gas in Franklin and Wake counties. Construction on the pipeline, which is expected to cost $35 million to $45 million, would begin in 2016 or 2017.

Lenovo still leads in PC shipments

July 11, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

PC shipments rose 15.1% in the first quarter for Beijing-based Lenovo, which has its North American headquarters in Morrisville. The company maintained its position as the world's No. 1 PC-maker with a 19.2% market share. Competitor HP claimed 17.7% of the market.

French company breaks ground on new Durham plant

July 10, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

BioMérieux broke ground on 25,000-square-foot plant in Durham where it will make products to detect bloodborne infections. The $48 million expansion will add 44 jobs to the French health diagnostics company's existing 630 at its U.S. headquarters there.

Eastern

Duke Energy begins cleanup of former gas plant property in Kinston

July 23, 2014

(The Free Press, Kinston)

Duke Energy has begun cleaning up the site of a former manufactured-gas plant in Kinston that has been dormant for more than 60 years. The Charlotte-based utility plans to clean 14 such sites, where it used coal to manufacture gas for street lamps before natural gas became available.

Will anyone save Fayetteville's Prince Charles Hotel?

July 22, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

A canceled auction for the historic Prince Charles Hotel in Fayetteville has downtown advocates speculating about plans for the property.

Reactions mixed over proposed Cumberland County chicken plant

July 21, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Local opinions are split over a proposed Sanderson Farms chicken plant that would create more than 1,000 jobs in Cumberland County. While the jobs would significantly lower the county's unemployment rate, critics are concerned over potential effects on groundwater and the smell the plant would generate.

Obama administration opens Eastern Seaboard to gas exploration

July 21, 2014

(WRAL.com)

President Obama will allow exploration for oil and gas beneath the ocean along the Eastern Seaboard. In a statement, Gov. Pat McCrory called the decision "an important step in the right direction toward more jobs for North Carolina and our country."

SXSW director to speak at Wilmington conference

July 18, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Hugh Forrest will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural Coastal Connect conference of UNC Wilmington's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in September. Forrest is the director of the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, held annually in Austin, Texas.

ABC series resumes production in Wilmington

July 17, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The ABC mystery series "Secrets and Lies" will begin production in Wilmington July 24. The pilot for the show, which stars Ryan Phillippe and Juliette Lewis, was filmed in the Porters Neck area in March. Nine more episodes will be filmed.

Owner of Leland oil company receives prison sentence

July 17, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The owner of P&W Waste Oil Services was sentenced to three and a half years in federal prison and must pay $21.37 million in restitution for mishandling used oil that contained PCBs. The Leland company sold the contaminated oil to another company.  

Sanderson Farms could bring poultry plant, 1,100 jobs to Cumberland County

July 16, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Sanderson Farms is considering Cumberland County for a chicken-processing plant that would employ 1,100 workers. The Mississippi-based company abandoned plans for a similar project in Nash County in 2012 after the city of Wilson and some residents filed lawsuits citing environmental concerns.

Record orders mean jobs, investment at New Hanover GE Aviation plant

July 15, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Following a record-breaking year in 2013, GE Aviation's joint venture CFM International has taken orders totaling about $25 billion so far this year. The company's plant in Castle Hayne will get a $65 million upgrade and 35 new jobs to keep up with production.

Manufacturer could bring 1,000 jobs to Brunswick County

July 14, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

An unnamed company is considering investing $35 million in a manufacturing plant in Brunswick County that would create more than 1,000 jobs. The project is one of 13, mostly manufacturing-based, that local economic-development leaders are hoping to bring to the county.

Motion filed to extend case against Smith Advertising execs

July 11, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Lawyers have requested an extension in a Florida case alleging the owners of the former Smith Advertising & Associates were involved in a fraud scheme that bilked at least 74 people out of more than $55 million. The joint motion indicates the parties are attempting an out-of-court settlement.

Cape Fear Valley Health System seeks to expand

July 10, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Cape Fear Valley Health System has filed an application to add 34 beds to the existing 490 at its medical center in Cumberland County. The project would cost $30 million, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Film advocates disagree with McCrory's claims of 'abuse' of film subsidies

July 10, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

North Carolina film industry leaders don't agree with Gov. Pat McCrory's comments suggesting that the state's film-incentive program has been abused.

New Hanover Regional partners with Carolinas HealthCare

July 9, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

New Hanover Regional Medical Center has entered into a services agreement with Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare System that will allow the 769-bed hospital to reduce costs by combining its purchasing power with the state's largest public hospital system.

AAIPharma names Kutzer CEO

July 8, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Stephan Kutzer was named CEO of Wilmington-based AAIPharma Services Corp. and Wisconsin-based Cambridge Major Laboratories, which merged with AAIPharma in October. He comes from Lonza Inc., a Swiss biotech company, where he was chief operating officer.

Unnamed company could bring 200 jobs to Wilmington

July 8, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said an unnamed company that could invest millions of dollars and hire more than 200 workers is considering the Port City for a new office. Saffo said the city is vying with other communities for the jobs, which he described as office-support positions.

Conservationists oppose wood-pellet project at Port of Wilmington

July 7, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Conservation organizations are questioning sustainability practices of a company that plans to build a wood-pellet storage center at Port of Wilmington. Baltimore-based Enviva is considering sites in Sampson and Richmond counties for wood-pellet plants. Products would stored in Wilmington, then shipped to Europe for use as fuel.

Shuckin' Shack secures first franchisees

July 3, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The owners of Shuckin' Shack restaurants have signed two franchisees who plan to open locations in Topsail Beach and Porters Neck. Three restaurants also are planned in the Charlotte area. The original Shuckin' Shack opened in Carolina Beach in 2007 followed by one in downtown Wilmington in 2012.  

Hurricane Arthur moving toward NC coast

July 3, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The entire North Carolina coast is under a hurricane warning as Arthur was upgraded from a tropical storm early Thursday morning. Forecasters expect the storm to pass over the area Thursday evening and Friday morning without causing major damage. Conditions should clear by Friday afternoon in time for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Cape Fear area hopes storm moves on by July 4

July 2, 2014

(Wilmington StarNews)

Tropical Storm Arthur poses problems for coastal businesses expecting big hauls during the Fourth of July holiday.