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Western

Sierra Nevada opens tasting room at Mills River brewery

October 21, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Sierra Nevada has opened a tasting room for visitors who complete a 90-minute walking tour of its Mills River brewery. The Chico, Calif.-based beer maker plans to open a restaurant and music room in January. Sierra will brew about 200,000 barrels of beer annually when the brewery reaches full production.

80 Asheville businesses call for Duke Energy to retire Skyland plant

October 20, 2014

(Asheville Citizens-Times)

Eighty Asheville-area businesses sent a letter to Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good asking for the closure of the company's coal-fired power plant in Skyland. The letter calls the plant the "largest single source of carbon pollution in Western North Carolina" and accuses the utility of illegally polluting the French Broad River through coal-ash seepage.
Update: Coal-campaign letter bewilders some businesses

GE Aviation opens Asheville manufacturing plant

October 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Gov. Pat McCrory helped GE Aviation celebrate the grand opening of its Asheville plant, where the company will manufacture jet-engine components. The plant will employ 52 workers as part of a 2013 commitment the company made to create 242 new jobs in North Carolina by 2018.

More fall tourists expected in Western NC

October 14, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

An improved fall foliage forecast could fill hotels in Western N.C., according to a report from Western Carolina University. More tourists are expected this year compared with 2013, when a federal government shutdown during the first 15 days of October forced campgrounds and visitor centers to close. 

Judge orders early voting site at App State

October 14, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

A Wake County Superior Court judge ordered the state Board of Elections to include at least one on-campus early voting site at Appalachian State University. The Watauga County elections board removed the long-standing voting site prior to the May primary. Opponents of the plan to remove the voting center say it makes it harder for students, who are more likely to vote Democratic, to cast ballots.

Western NC breweries honored at national beer festival

October 6, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Three Western N.C. breweries earned awards at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo., on Saturday. Black Mountain-based Pisgah Brewing, Morganton-based Fonta Flora Brewery and Asheville-based Wicked Weed Brewing each won gold medals at the world's larger beer competition. Oskar Blues and Sierra Nevada, which have locations in Western N.C., won silver and bronze medals.

Medical products manufacturer to lay off 200 in Burke County

October 2, 2014

(The News Herald, Morganton)

BSN medical will cut 200 jobs at its Rutherford College production plant beginning at the conclusion of the first quarter of 2015. The Hamburg, Germany-based company, which makes medical bandaging and compression stockings, plans to move the jobs to an existing plant in Mexico.  

Biltmore to open second hotel at Asheville estate

October 1, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The Biltmore Co. plans to begin construction by mid-October on a second hotel at Biltmore Estate. The Village Hotel next to the winery in Antler Hill Village will have 209 guest rooms and is expected to open by November 2015. The project is expected to create about 230 jobs. 

 

Restructuring leads to 130 job cuts at Mission Health

September 29, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Mission Health has cut 130 jobs, mostly at its main hospital in Asheville, but plans to add 147 jobs next year to accommodate growth in outpatient services. The changes are part of a reorganization that aims to cut $42 million in costs while increasing revenue by $10 million. Mission employs about 10,000 people at six hospitals and additional locations in Western N.C.

Mitchell County wood-stove manufacturer expands product lines

September 29, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The nation's oldest privately-held wood-stove company has expanded its offerings to include patio furniture, fire pits and other outdoor furnishings. Spruce Pine-based Buck Stove, which last year laid off workers for the first time in its 40-year history, has rehired those employees and plans to hire 30 to 50 more.

Cider makers seek to change industry regulation

September 26, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

North Carolina cider companies hope to ensure growth through proposed legislation that would increase the allowed alcohol volume to 8.5%. Currently, cider with an alcohol volume higher than 7% is taxed like wine, which is higher than the excise tax placed on beer. North Carolina now has 10 cider producers, supported by the craft beverage's soaring popularity.

Apartment growth surges in South Asheville

September 25, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

There are 1,400 apartment units under construction in South Asheville, where the occupancy rate is 96%. It's the biggest apartment boom Buncombe County has seen in 25 years, according to one developer, who worries the area will become overbuilt. 
Read more about the apartment boom in North Carolina's center cities (Statewide, June)

Brevard brewery fuels growth for Oskar Blues

September 19, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Thanks to the addition of its Brevard brewery − which produced 46,000 barrels of beer in 2013 − the Colorado-based company earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies.

Noble Cider expanding, moving to West Asheville

September 18, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville-based Noble Cider will open a new 80-barrel cidery and taproom in early 2015. The craft-cider maker will move into a 9,000-square-foot building in West Asheville. The new space will allow Noble, which uses North Carolina-grown apples, to increase annual cider production from 14,000 gallons this year to at least 40,000 gallons. 

Asheville river district could receive millions more

September 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville could receive as much as $8.5 million in additional funds to redevelop its River Arts District. The federal government awarded the city $14.6 million for transportation improvements in the area, and the city will invest $14.6 million. 

Group says fracking supporters bused in homeless to boost numbers at hearing

September 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

An environmental group says the N.C. Energy Coalition bused in a group of homeless men unfamiliar with the practice of hydraulic fracturing from Winston-Salem in an effort to bolster the number of fracking supporters at a public hearing in Cullowhee on Friday.

About 600 turn out for final fracking meeting

September 15, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

About 600 people attended the state's final public hearing on hydraulic-fracturing regulations. The majority of the speakers at the four-hour meeting in Cullowhee opposed the practice. The N.C. Geological Survey retreated from plans to collect rock samples in Western N.C. to test for potential shale-gas deposits.

Buncombe likely to provide incentives for Wicked Weed expansion

September 12, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Buncombe County commissioners will vote Tuesday on giving almost $75,000 in incentives to Wicked Weed Brewing for its previously announced expansion. The beer company will invest at least $6.5 million and add 75 jobs over four years as part of the agreement.

Equestrian center brings challenges, benefits to Polk County

September 11, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Tryon International Equestrian Center, opened July 2, is already having an impact on Polk County, which lacks enough hotels to accommodate the thousands of spectators the 1,400-acre resort expects to draw. The $100 million project, still under construction, will eventually include two hotels, an RV park and other lodging (Regional Report, August).

Asheville breweries expand to keep up with demand

September 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Craft beer sales are up 20% over last year, and Asheville breweries are spending millions to keep up with demand. The area's largest project is New Belgium's $175 million brewery under construction in West Asheville, which expects to hire up to 350 employees by spring 2015.

Charlotte

Electrolux CEO says company remains committed to Charlotte

October 21, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Jack Truong, CEO of Electrolux's North American operations, reaffirmed the company's commitment to keeping the its headquarters in Charlotte following a planned $3.3 billion acquisition of General Electric's appliance business. Electrolux reported a 42% increase in third-quarter earnings on Monday.

Charlotte Goodyear shop closing to make way for 27-story tower

October 21, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A longstanding Goodyear auto-repair shop in downtown Charlotte is closing to make way for a 27-story mixed-use tower that will include hotel, retail and office space. Charlotte-based Crescent Communities plans to build the tower on the 3-acre site, but won't announce a construction start date until it secures an anchor tenant.

Advisor changes recommendation, supports Chiquita-Fyffes merger

October 21, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Institutional Shareholder Services said Monday it now endorses a revised merger agreement between Charlotte-based Chiquita Brands International and Dublin-based produce company Fyffes. The advisory group last month recommended that shareholders reject the Fyffes proposal and instead endorsed an offer from Brazil-based Cutrale and Safra Group.

Activist shareholder wants to oust Family Dollar board members

October 20, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Elliott Advisors said Friday it was nominating seven directors to replace current Family Dollar board members. The hedge fund says the current board members lack expertise to negotiate a deal with Chesapeake, Va.-based Dollar Tree or Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based Dollar General. 

Piedmont Natural Gas asks for 7% rate cut

October 20, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Piedmont Natural Gas is seeking a 7% rate cut that would save each of its residential customers about $6.70 a month. The Charlotte-based gas company requested the rate cut after revenue last winter exceeded its allowed profit margin set by the N.C. Utilities Commission. Piedmont has 750,000 customers in North Carolina.

Chiquita board rejects Brazilian offer

October 17, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The board of directors of Chiquita Brands International unanimously rejected the latest buyout offer by Brazil-based Cutrale and Safra Group and reaffirmed its recommendation for shareholders to vote in favor of a proposed merger with Irish produce company Fyffes.

Laura Schulte to retire from Wells Fargo

October 17, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Laura Schulte, president of community banking for Wells Fargo's Eastern region, will retire by year-end. Schulte moved to Charlotte five years ago following the San Francisco-based bank's merger with Wachovia and his been with the company for more than 30 years. Michelle Lee, president of community banking operations for the Northeast, will succeed her.

Kannapolis officials consider purchasing Murdock properties

October 17, 2014

(The Independent Tribune, Concord)

Kannapolis City Council will review several downtown properties the city may offer to buy from billionaire David Murdock. Murdock's Castle & Cook company has owned much of downtown Kannapolis since he bought the former Cannon Mills in 1982. 

Legal fees bring BofA profits down

October 16, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Bank of America's third quarter profits fell to $168 million, down from $2.5 billion a year ago, thanks to a $16 billion mortgage settlement with the U.S. Justice Department in August (Statewide, October). Executives said the Charlotte-based bank has reached its Project New BAC goal of reducing quarterly expenses by $2 billion nine months ahead of schedule.
Related: Analysts question Moynihan about combining chairman, CEO roles

Battery company plans up to 2,500 jobs in Concord

October 16, 2014

(Independent Tribune, Concord)

Alevo Battery Technology expects to bring up to 2,500 jobs to the former Philip Morris plant in Concord, company spokesman Julian Tanner told the Independent Tribune on Tuesday. Victory Industrial Park, Alevo's parent company, bought the 2,000-acre campus, which has been idle since 2007, in April. The company plans to make a jobs announcement and provide more details on Oct. 28.

Brazilian companies up Chiquita offer to $14 a share

October 16, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

In its latest effort to break up Chiquita Brands International's pending merger with Dublin-based Fyffes, Brazil-based Cutrale and Safra Group increased their takeover bid for the produce company to $658 million, or $14 per share. The Charlotte-based produce company plans to hold a shareholder vote on the Fyffes merger Oct. 24. 

Hilton to build hotel in Charlotte's First Ward

October 16, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Hilton Hotels announced plans to build a hotel in uptown Charlotte's First Ward on land owned by Charlotte developer Levine Properties. Construction could begin in 2016 on a new lifestyle hotel brand called Canopy by Hilton.

Cannon sentenced to 44 months in prison

October 15, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A federal judge sentenced former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon to 44 months in prison on public corruption charges. Cannon pleaded guilty in June to accepting more than $50,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as developers and from a local businessman. 

Siemens to acquire Charlotte software company

October 15, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Munich-based engineering company Siemens AG will acquire Charlotte-based Camstar Systems, an industrial software provider with 250 global employees, including about 100 in Charlotte. Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in late November.

Ruling blocks commission from running Charlotte airport

October 14, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A Superior Court judge issued a permanent injunction that blocks a 13-member state-appointed commission from running Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Judge Robert Ervin's ruling leaves the door open for the FAA to rule in favor of the commission, though the agency said last month it wouldn't consider an application to transfer control of the airport because the city hasn't requested it.

More details on new business at Philip Morris plant coming Oct. 28

October 14, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The new owner of the former Philip Morris plant in Concord will make a jobs announcement on Oct. 28, a company spokesman said Monday. Victory Industrial Park paid $68.5 million for the 2,100-acre campus in April. The company's ads on Careerbuilder.com indicate the company makes batteries for commercial applications and electric cars.

Concord Regional to expand airport ramp

October 14, 2014

(The Independent Tribune, Concord)

Concord Regional Airport will use $4.37 million in federal grant money to expand a ramp, which will relieve congestion and allow more planes to park at the airport. 

Carolina Panthers could fetch up to $1.7 billion

October 13, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Though the Carolina Panthers aren't believed to be for sale, sports business experts say the NFL team could bring in between $1.1 billion and $1.7 billion. NFL owners recently approved the sale of the Buffalo Bills for $1.4 billion, and experts say Charlotte is a more attractive market for an NFL team.

NC Research Campus ready for growth

October 13, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

While the recession stalled growth at North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, the campus will soon begin more independent research and plans to make a major corporate announcement within a month or so. David Murdock, who opened the campus in 2008, announced earlier this month he will give $15 million a year to the center's research lab that bears his name.

33-story Charlotte office tower sold

October 13, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Trinity Capital Advisors and New York-based DRA Advisors have bought the 584,000-square-foot 400 South Tryon office tower in uptown Charlotte. The 33-story building is 92% occupied, mostly by Charlotte-based Duke Energy. Charlotte-based Trinity Capital recently announced it will build a 14-story office tower at Morehead and Tryon streets near uptown.

Triad

Honda Aircraft begins $19M expansion at Piedmont Triad airport

October 21, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Honda Aircraft has begun a $19 million expansion at Piedmont Triad International Airport that will increase its space by more than 74,000 square feet. The company expects to receive FAA certification of its HondaJet light corporate aircraft in early 2015 ("Ready to take off," February). The expansion brings the company's total investment at Piedmont Triad to about $160 million.

Lorillard CEO could get $44M payout after tobacco merger

October 21, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Lorillard CEO Murray Kessler could receive a compensation package valued at $44.7 million following his company's planned $25 million merger with Winston-Salem-based Reynolds American. Kessler also will get a seat on the combined company's board of directors when the deal closes, expected to be in the first half of 2015.

Davidson County moves ahead with plans for 431-acre industrial park

October 20, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Davidson County has closed on about 100 acres in the first phase of a 431-acre industrial park it hopes will attract advanced manufacturers and other companies. The county's Economic Development Commission says it has options on an additional 126 acres and is conducting due diligence on another 205.

Ashley Furniture unveils Davie County furniture factory

October 20, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The world's largest furniture maker unveiled its new 2.8-million-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center in Advance on Friday. Ashley Furniture Industries plans to employ 800 people at the plant by year-end.

High Point Market continues through Thursday

October 20, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Furniture officials hope growth in consumer confidence and an improved housing market will lead to more orders. Pre-registration for the semiannual High Point Market was up about 3% over last fall, according to Tom Conley, president of the High Point Market Authority. The trade show generally attracts between 70,000 and 80,000 participants.

BB&T to cut 800 jobs

October 17, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

BB&T will eliminate about 800 jobs – about 2% of its workforce – in the fourth quarter as part of a corporate restructuring, though the Winston-Salem-based bank declined to say how many of the cuts will be in North Carolina. Most of the affected jobs are in mortgage and community banking.
Related: BB&T reports third-quarter profit of $520 million

Thomas Built Buses gets approval for local incentives

October 17, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Local governments approved incentives for Thomas Built Buses to expand its High Point operations. The locally based company will decide by Dec. 1 if it will move forward with the expansion, which would include an investment of $12 million and the addition of 236 jobs in 2015.

Judge denies Phelps' request to halt liquidation of tobacco companies

October 16, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge denied Calvin Phelps' request to stop the liquidation of three bankrupt tobacco companies he previously owned. Phelps was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to fraud charges earlier this year ("Rise and fall of Renegade," October).

High Point-based Stanley Furniture reports 3Q loss

October 15, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Sales were down 4.9% in the third quarter for Stanley Furniture, partly due to the discontinuation of its Young America bedroom line (Statewide, May). The High Point-based manufacturer reported a loss of $2.26 million compared with a loss of $2.47 million a year ago.

Technimark may bring 224 jobs to Asheboro

October 14, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Plastics manufacturer Technimark is considering a $46 million expansion that would add 224 jobs to its existing 981 in Randolph County. The county and the city of Asheboro approved $1 million in incentives last week for the locally-based company to build a new factory. 

Acquisitions boost share prices for Hanesbrands

October 13, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Recent acquisitions of Maidenform and DBApparel have led some analysts to set share price targets for Winston-Salem-based Hanesbrands as high as $125.

 

Greensboro's NewBridge Bank to acquire Premier Commercial

October 10, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

NewBridge Bank will acquire Greensboro-based Premier Commercial Bank in a transaction valued at about $19.8 million. The combined bank will have assets of $2.6 billion. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.

Elon School of Law cuts tuition

October 10, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Elon University School of Law will cut its total tuition by $14,000, change to a seven-trimester schedule and revise its curriculum to emphasize real-world experience. The changes will take effect in fall 2015.

 

Forsyth Tech opens training center at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter

October 9, 2014

(Time Warner Cable News)

Forsyth Technical Community College unveiled a 24,000-square-foot technology center at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. More than 1,200 students a year will learn work-related skills in fields including biotechnology and nanotechnology at the $7 million center.

 

British tire company plans Davie retreading plant

October 8, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Dunlop Aircraft Tyres plans to open a 108,000-square-foot plant and create at least 40 jobs in Davie County by early 2016. The Birmingham, England-based company, which retreads tires used on aircraft, would invest $8.2 million in equipment and building upgrades. Davie County and the town of Mocksville approved an incentive package totaling about $212,000.

Thomas Built Buses looks to expand in High Point

October 7, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Thomas Built Buses wants local governments to help fund an expansion at its High Point plant that could create 236 jobs. The bus maker would invest $10.5 million at the site, which is located on the Randolph-Guilford county line.

Novant cancels plans to buy Halifax Regional

October 6, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Novant Health has called off its attempt to acquire 204-bed Halifax Regional Medical Center in Roanoke Rapids. The Winston-Salem-based health-care system will continue its management-services contract with the hospital for two more years.

Krispy Kreme announces CFO retirement

October 6, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Douglas Muir, chief financial officer of Winston-Salem-based Krispy Kreme Doughnuts since 2007, will retire in 2015. Muir's retirement is the fifth change within the company's executive management team since February.

BofA names Ellington president of Triad market

October 6, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Bank of America Corp. named Greenboro-based Derek Ellington president of its Triad market. He replaces Steve Frost, who retired after 20 years with the bank.

Greensboro's Bell Partners, DRA Advisors sell $1.8 billion apartment portfolio

October 3, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Greensboro-based Bell Partners and New York-based DRA Advisors sold more than 20,000 apartments to Lone Star Funds for $1.8 billion. The properties were originally part of a joint venture between the two companies. Bell Partners will continue to manage the properties, which are located in 64 communities across the United States.

Triangle

Duke scientists develop technology to identify fracking chemicals

October 21, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Scientists at Duke University have developed a new method to trace fracking chemicals in waterways and other drinking-water sources. The researchers say the technology could be used to identify accidental spills from shale-gas drilling.

Wells Fargo expands market share in Triangle

October 21, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Wells Fargo's market share ranked by deposits in the Raleigh-Cary metropolitan statistical area increased to 30.5% as of June 30, up from 28.68% a year ago. 

Report on academic fraud at UNC to be released Wednesday

October 21, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Investigators will present report findings in the academic fraud case involving student athletes at UNC Chapel Hill on Wednesday. Following a closed session with the board of trustees and the UNC Board of Governors, attorney Kenneth Wainstein will hold a press conference with Chancellor Carol Folt and UNC system president Tom Ross.

Triangle venture-capital funding returns to 'normalcy' in third quarter

October 17, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Ten Triangle startups raised $47.4 million in venture capital in the third quarter, more than in the first and second quarters but still far below the $106.8 million raised in the fourth quarter of last year. Two companies, Lq3 Pharmaceuticals and medical-device company Tryton Medical, raised at least $10 million.

Chimerix drug to be tested on Ebola patients

October 17, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Durham drug developer Chimerix received FDA approval to begin testing an experimental antiviral drug on people infected with the Ebola virus. 

Sears store closing at Cary Towne Center

October 17, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Sears Holdings will close its store at Cary Towne Center mall by mid-January. The store's 66 employees may apply for jobs at other Sears and Kmart stores.

NC State's Lomax joins RTI International

October 17, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Terri Lomax will become vice president for discovery, science and technology at RTI International in December. Lomax has been Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Economic Development at N.C. State University since 2009. 

Cisco lays off 225 at RTP

October 16, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Cisco Systems confirmed it laid off 225 employees in Research Triangle Park as part of a corporate restructuring that will cut 6,000 jobs from its global workforce. The San Jose, Calif.-based networking equipment provider announced this summer it would create 550 new jobs at RTP by the end of 2017 – the company will have to fill vacancies created by the layoffs in order to receive state incentives of up to $12.9 million.

Novant lays off 59 at Louisburg hospital

October 15, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Novant Health will lay off 59 employees and reduce the number of inpatient beds from 70 to 2 at its Franklin Medical Center in Louisburg. The Winston-Salem-based health system cited declining patient volumes and lower reimbursements from insurers as reasons for the cuts.

Wake Forest-based PowerSecure acquires Florida data center

October 15, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Wake Forest-based PowerSecure International bought a data center owned by St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Power Design in a deal worth up to $15 million. Wake Forest-based PowerSecure provides energy  services to electric utilities and their commercial and industrial customers.

Cape Fear Valley considers partnership with Harnett Health

October 14, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The board of trustees of Fayetteville-based Cape Fear Valley Health could vote later this month on a proposed partnership with Harnett Health System in Dunn. Harnett Health operates hospitals in Dunn and Lillington, along with clinics and rehabilitation centers in Harnett and Johnston counties.

Southern Season to open holiday pop-up shops

October 14, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Southern Season will open holiday pop-up shops in Charlotte and Raleigh to introduce its brand and products to those markets while the company searches for additional permanent locations. The Chapel Hill-based specialty-foods retailer plans to open a permanent store in Charlotte in late 2016 and one in Raleigh, possibly by 2017.

President of William Peace University to retire

October 14, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Debra Townsley will retire as president of William Peace University after five years in the position. Townsley oversaw the school's transition from a women's college to a co-ed university in 2012. She will leave when her contract expires June 30 to pursue other interests and spend time with her grandchildren.

Triangle to host entrepreneurial summit in 2015

October 14, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

The Triangle will host the 2015 UP America Summit, an event that is expected to draw nearly 200 entrepreneurs from across North America. Dates haven't been announced.

Durham tech startup gets 12,000 pre-orders for fitness device

October 13, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A Durham-based technology startup says it has received 12,000 pre-orders for a wearable fitness-tracking device for kids. Squord (pronounced "scored") CEO Coleman Greene says the company expects to sell 15,000 Squord Boosters by year-end.

Raleigh tech hub signs e-textbook company as first big tenant

October 10, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Raleigh-based Vital Source Technologies signed on as the first major tenant at 227 Fayetteville St., a 10-story office building in downtown Raleigh that was formerly occupied by Wachovia and is undergoing an $8 million renovation. The e-textbooks company, a subsidiary of Nashville, Tenn.-based Ingram Industries, will lease 20,000 square feet.

Longtime Raleigh Chamber CEO to retire

October 9, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Harvey Schmitt will retire as CEO of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce after 21 years in the post. Schmitt, 65, said in an statement he plans to remain in Raleigh and he is not calling this a retirement. 

Former Wachovia building could become Raleigh tech hub

October 9, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Developers will host a media event this morning regarding a 10-story office building in downtown Raleigh where New York-based LRC Opportunity Fund announced an $8 million renovation in January 2013. A website for the 227 Fayetteville Street says the 110,000-square-foot building will provide office space for "small startup businesses and entrepreneurs."

Raleigh-based Red Hat completes $700 million offering

October 9, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Red Hat completed a previously announced sale of $700 million worth of senior convertible notes and plans to use $375 million of the proceeds to repurchase shares of its common stock. The Raleigh-based software company will use another $257 million for general corporate purposes that could include future acquisitions.

NC Bankers Association names new president

October 8, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The N.C. Bankers Association named Peter Gwaltney president and CEO effective Jan. 2. Gwaltney, 51, has been CEO of a Memphis, Tenn.-based foundation for the past seven years and was chief executive of the Louisiana Bankers Association from 1999 to 2006. He replaces Thad Woodard, who has led the Raleigh-based trade group since 1997 and is retiring (Statewide, June).

Eastern

N.C. Supreme Court to hear Hofmann Forest case

October 20, 2014

(The Daily News, Jacksonville)

A legal challenge over the sale of N.C. State University's research forest in Eastern N.C. has been moved from the N.C. Court of Appeals to the N.C. Supreme Court. A group of opponents that includes professors and conservationists filed a complaint over the pending sale of Hofmann Forest in 2013, citing concerns over loss of public lands and potential environmental impact.

Revitalization underway in Wilmington's Brooklyn neighborhood

October 20, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

After decades of failed revitalization efforts, developers and business owners hope their latest efforts will breathe new life into Wilmington's Brooklyn neighborhood. 

St. James residents seek removal of planning board member

October 17, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Residents of St. James Plantation are asking for the removal of alternate planning board member Bob Accordino. Residents cite a conflict of interest between Accordino's role as the owner of a business that installs porches and sunrooms in the community and as a board member who gets to vote on which architectural projects are approved. 

Butterball might be interested in House of Raeford plant

October 15, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

A local economic-development official says at least "a couple" of businesses have expressed interest in buying the Hoke County turkey plant House of Raeford plans to close within the next two months. Garner-based Butterball, which owns a turkey hatchery nearby, could be one of them.

Interest declines for Wilmington film industry

October 15, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Following legislative changes that reduced incentives for the state's film industry, production inquiries are down from 15 to 20 per month to about six or seven, according to the director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission. "People just aren't as interested now," Johnny Griffin said at a quarterly commission meeting Tuesday.

House of Raeford to close Hoke County plant, lay off 400

October 13, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

A little more than a year after closing a Raeford turkey-processing plant and laying off 950 workers, House of Raeford announced it will close its cooked-turkey plant in Hoke County within 60 days. About 400 workers will lose their jobs. Costs at the plant rose more than 250% over the past year since the company had to buy its turkeys from other vendors.

'Under the Dome' will return to Wilmington in 2015

October 13, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

CBS Television Studios will return to Wilmington to film the third season of summer TV series Under the Dome in the first quarter of 2015, despite recent changes to North Carolina's film incentive program. Guidelines for the new state film grant program are still being developed and should be complete by the end of October. 

 

Pork industry rebounds from pig virus

October 13, 2014

(WRAL.com)

Hog supplies have risen now that a virus that has killed millions of young pigs across the nation (Statewide, April) has tapered off due to warmer weather and farmers taking more precautions to manage outbreaks. There are about 2,900 hog farms in North Carolina, mostly in Eastern N.C.

About 1,800 seek jobs at new Hoke County hospital

October 10, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Officials at Cape Fear Valley Health were expecting about 1,000 people to show up at a job fair Thursday for its new Hoke County hospital – instead nearly double than number applied for jobs. The 41-bed hospital is scheduled to open in early 2015 and will employ about 350 people.

Kinston chef teams up with Chapel Hill's Southern Season

October 10, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Kinston's Vivian Howard, a local chef who has gained national attention as star of the award-winning PBS series "A Chef's Life," has partnered with Chapel Hill-based Southern Season to develop a line of gift baskets. The wooden crates, which range in price from $40 to $290, are on sale at Southern Season stores in Chapel Hill, Charleston, S.C., and Richmond, Va., and through the store's website.

Loan on Wilmington's Independence Mall in default

October 9, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Fitch Ratings reported that the owner of Wilmington's Independence Mall has defaulted on a $110 million loan. The 1-million-square-foot mall was built in 1979 and is 86% occupied, according to a recent report. 

Industry leaders convene at Wilmington energy summit

October 9, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gov. Pat McCrory will be a keynote speaker at the Coastal Energy Summit today at the Wilmington Convention Center. Representatives from Duke Energy, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Strata Solar and the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition are among the scheduled speakers for the sold-out event.

Wilmington Beer Week kicks off Saturday

October 9, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

More than 30 events are scheduled for the second annual Wilmington Beer Week, which kicks off Saturday, October 11. Beer dinners, tastings, a pet adoption event and a "Detox to Retox" yoga session are planned. 

Columbus County awards $1.8M to get railroad running again

October 8, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The Columbus County Board of Commissioners approved $1.8 million in incentives for an unnamed buyer who plans to restore the Carolina Southern Railroad, which has been idle for three years. Horry County, S.C. is considering an identical tax incentive.

Wilmington airport considers expansion

October 7, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Following a 14-month study that outlines a three-phase expansion, Wilmington International Airport Authority must decide how it will pay for the recommended $64 to $106 million project that would increase capacity and modernize the 25-year-old terminal. 

Durham's Patheon adding 488 jobs at Greenville plant

October 6, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Durham-based DPx Holdings will expand its Patheon manufacturing plant in Greenville, adding 488 jobs to its existing 1,000 over the next five years. The pharmaceutical-services company will invest $159 million in the expansion and could receive more than $6.3 million in state incentives if it meets hiring goals.

NC Ports to study deepening Cape Fear channel

October 6, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The N.C. State Ports Authority is looking into the feasibility of deepening the Cape Fear River shipping channel to accommodate a new generation of cargo ships. The last dredging cost nearly $500 million and took a decade to complete, though the federal government shouldered much of the cost.

Robeson County has highest rate of ACA signups

October 3, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A UNC Chapel Hill analysis shows 49.9% of of eligible Robeson County residents enrolled for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the highest percentage in the state. The eastern N.C. county has the state's highest poverty rate according to 2013 U.S. Census estimates (cover story, September)

4,000 pigs destroyed in fire at Moore County farm

October 3, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

An overnight fire destroyed a building housing 4,000 pigs at N.G. Purvis Farms in Robbins. Firefighters battled the blaze until about 3:00 a.m. Thursday morning.

NC DOT proposes demolishing Wilmington buildings for transportation hub

October 3, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The N.C. Department of Transportation wants to to demolish four buildings in a Wilmington historic district to make way for a downtown transportation center. The executive director of the Historic Wilmington Foundation says he plans to talk to state officials about incorporating one of the existing structures into the proposed center's plans.