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Western

Environmental groups challenge $10M bond in Duke Energy case

May 25, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Two environmental groups are challenging a ruling that would require them to post a $10 million bond if they appeal the state Utilities Commission's approval of Duke Energy's plans to replace its power plant near Asheville. The utility wants to convert the coal-fired plant to natural gas.

Auto-parts maker adding 41 jobs in Buncombe County

May 23, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Arkansas-based Baldor Electric Company is investing $4.2 million in its Weaverville plant, adding 41 jobs. About 140 people currently work at the Buncombe County factory, which makes automotive components for Dodge.

NCDOT chooses route for I-26 connector in Western NC

May 20, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Environmentalists applauded the N.C. Department of Transportation's choice of a route for the Interstate 26 Connector Project that will connect downtown Asheville with West Asheville via a bridge across the French Broad River. The plan also includes facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists. The route wasn't part of the DOT's original plans, but local groups proposed the idea and convinced the DOT to support the route.

Canton paper mill a mainstay in Western NC

May 17, 2016

(Smoky Mountain News)

Demand for coated paper coffee cups — and a shift away from Styrofoam by retailers including McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts — has been a boon for Evergreen Packaging in Haywood County, which employs about 900 people. The paper mill's future seemed uncertain a year ago when rumors circulated that the mill was for sale; then the company's New Zealand-based parent, Rank Group Limited, decided to keep it.

Battle against Duke Energy gas plant could cost $10 million

May 13, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Two environmental groups could have to pay $10 million if they appeal the state Utilities Commission's approval of Duke Energy's proposed $1 billion plan to convert its Asheville-area power plant from coal to natural gas and lose the case. The utility argued for a higher bond, claiming delays related to an appeal could cost the company and its customers as much as $240 million.

Study: Asheville housing market is unsustainable

May 10, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The housing market in the Asheville metro area has reached an unhealthy level, where only the wealthy can afford to live there and locals are being priced out of the market, according to a national report by insurer Nationwide.

Opinion: US needs to uphold promise to Swain County

May 9, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Swain County is preparing to sue the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior over $40 million owed to the county. In the 1940s, as the federal government began acquiring land to build Fontana Dam, a new road was promised for the lake's north shore. Dubbed "The Road to Nowhere,"  it was never completed. A settlement of $52 million was reached in 2003, but so far Swain has only received $12.8 million.

Entegra Financial hires former CertusBank exec

May 4, 2016

(American Banker)

The holding company for Franklin-based Entegra Bank named Lola Hart its chief accounting officer. Hart oversaw the liquidation of Greenville, S.C.-based CertusBank, which struggled financially after three executives were fired amid reports of excessive spending. Tim Strom, previously with Greer State Bank in South Carolina, was named director of mortgage lending.

Caterpillar to shutter Morganton plant, lay off 110 workers

May 2, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Caterpillar said last week it will close its engine plant in Morganton by the end of 2017, eliminating 110 jobs. The cuts are part of a global restructuring; Caterpillar says sales in construction, oil and gas, mining and rail continued to decline in the first quarter. The company recently reduced its workforce in Winston-Salem and plans to close a plant in Franklin.

Visitor spending on the rise at national parks in NC

April 29, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The latest report from the National Park Service shows that 17.8 million visitors spent $1.19 billion in North Carolina in 2015, supporting 19,984 jobs and generating an economic impact of $1.67 billion. The Blue Ridge Parkway is the most popular attraction in the NPS with more than 15 million visitors in 2015. 

Asheville brewer adding 2nd location

April 27, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville's Wedge Brewing will open a second location in an 8,000-square-foot building in the city's River Arts District. Construction is scheduled to begin in a few months and should be complete by the end of 2016.

Equestrian center acquires more land for hotel, condos

April 26, 2016

(Hendersonville Times-News)

A spokeswoman for Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring said the1,400-acre resort has acquired additional land and will begin construction on a 180-room hotel, 40 condominiums priced from $450,000 to $1.3 million, and an additional 29 log-cabin rental homes.

Duke LifePoint challenges tax value of Jackson County hospital

April 25, 2016

(The Sylva Herald)

Jackson County appraisers valued Harris Regional Hospital and affiliated properties at $42 million, but Tennessee-based Duke LifePoint, which acquired the hospital in 2014, says the 80-acre property is only worth a little more than $13 million and will challenge the appraisal.

David Jackson, 'Voice of the Mountaineers,' resigns after 16 seasons

April 19, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

David Jackson, associate athletic director at Appalachian State University, has resigned after working as a sports broadcaster at the school for 16 years. Known as "the Voice of the Mountaineers," Jackson said his schedule, which involved heavy travel and lots of weekend work, made it difficult to balance life with his wife and two children.

Inside Asheville's failed beer deal

April 18, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A look at Buncombe County's failed effort to attract Deschutes Brewery, a deal that would have involved an investment of up to $200 million and brought up to 237 jobs. Bend, Ore.-based Deschutes — the nation's sixth-largest craft beer company — instead chose Roanoake, Va., for its East Coast hub.

Asheville business owner: Don't boycott my store over law I despise

April 15, 2016

(The New York Times)

The owner of Malaprops Bookstore/Cafe in downtown Asheville writes an op-ed that describes how local businesses suffer when artists, customers and others boycott North Carolina over a law many don't support. Linda-Marie Barrett urges opponents of the law to consider new ways of protesting.

Asheville becoming less of a 'BYOJ' town

April 14, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

For years, the sentiment was that if you wanted to move to Asheville and didn't want to wait tables for a living, you might need to "bring your own job." While 7.2% of Asheville workers are self-employed, higher than the state and national rates, local economic developers say job openings are plentiful and there is growth in fields outside of hospitality, including in the technology and startup sectors.

ASU dedicates site for new $70M health-sciences building

April 14, 2016

(The Watauga Democrat)

The new building will house Appalachian State's Beaver College of Health Sciences, which formed in 2010 and is now the second largest college at ASU with more than 3,000 students. LS3P is the architect and Rodgers Builders in the construction manager for the 203,000-square-foot building.

Yarn-maker breaks ground on Burke County expansion

April 14, 2016

(Morganton News Herald)

Meridian Specialty Yarn Group is investing $8 million on an expansion of its Valdese plant. The company plans to add 25 jobs to its 140 when the addition is complete in 2017.

Report: Asheville rents are highest in the state

April 12, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Asheville is $1,180 a month, up 7.6% from a year ago, according to San Francisco-based Apartment List. Charlotte and Durham are second and third, with median rents of $1,140 and $1,100 respectively.

Charlotte

Food Lion co-founder Ralph Ketner dies

May 31, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Ralph Ketner, the Rowan County native who co-founded the supermarket chain that became Food Lion, died Sunday. He was 95. Ketner and two partners started Food Town in Salisbury in 1957. Ketner said the group landed its first 125 investors by calling people in the phone book, asking for $50 or $100 apiece — investments that eventually were worth $1 million. The business changed its name to Food Lion in 1982 and now has more than 1,100 stores in the Southeast.

Charlotte businessman and civic leader Cliff Cameron dies at 96

May 31, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Former First Union CEO Cliff Cameron died Saturday in Charlotte. Cameron led the Charlotte-based bank from 1966 to 1984, served as the state budget director under Gov. Jim Martin from 1985 to 1990 and in 1983 founded "The Group," a gathering of business leaders that included Ed Crutchfield, Hugh McColl and former Duke Power CEO Bill Lee who met informally to discuss community affairs.

New forecast for Union County toll project shows $1.15B less revenue

May 31, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

A 20-mile highway under construction in Union County was expected to bring in $3.15 billion in tolls over 40 years, according to a 2010 study. A new projection shows the Monroe bypass will generate $2 billion by 2058. One of the reasons for the difference is that local planners now expect fewer people to live in Union County.

NC DMV bans Tesla sales at Charlotte area store

May 27, 2016

(WFAE)

The N.C. DMV says Tesla Motors can't sell cars at its Matthews showroom, which opened last year. Under state law, automakers can't sell cars directly to consumers unless they can show it's in the public's best interest. Nearby dealers objected to the California automaker's plan to sell cars at its store near Charlotte. Oddly, Tesla can still sell electric vehicles at its Raleigh store, 166 miles away.

Puckett retires as CFO of Snyder's-Lance

May 27, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Rick Puckett, 62, has been CFO of Snyder's-Lance since the two snack companies merged in 2010; he had been CFO of Charlotte-based Lance since 2006. Puckett will stay on in the postition until a replacement is found.

Big mutual-fund company names UNC Charlotte grad as CEO

May 26, 2016

A UNC Charlotte MBA graduate is the incoming CEO at Waddell & Reed, a mutual-fund company that is struggling to retain its share of investors' assets.

Duke Energy inks another deal to turn pig poop into power

May 25, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Duke Energy will buy swine waste from Duplin County pork farms to serve power plants in Wayne and New Hanover counties. It's the utility's second deal announced this year to turn pig poop into power; Duke said in March it will partner with Carbon Cycle Energy to use methane from pig and poultry waste to generate electricity at four N.C. power plants. 

Appeals court reverses BofA fraud ruling

May 24, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

A federal appeals court on Monday overturned a jury's ruling that found Bank of America liable for fraud over mortgages originated by its Countrywide Financial unit — and also tossed out the $1.27 billion penalty imposed after the trial. The court also negated a ruling that a former Countrywide exec, Rebecca Mairone, was personally liable in the case.

Charlotte commercial real-estate sales near $1B

May 24, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Sales of commercial real estate in Charlotte have reached $904 million so far this year, including office buildings, warehouses, apartments and other buildings of $2.5 million or more. Demand is strong despite the recent controversy over HB2. Total sales in 2015 were $2.4 billion.

Charlotte City Council won't vote on repealing ordinance

May 24, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte City Council decided not to vote Monday on repealing its nondiscrimination ordinance that led to state lawmakers passing House Bill 2. Legislative leaders had asked the city to overturn the ordinance, which was essentially nullified by HB2, in exchange for a modified version of the bill. Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Human Rights Campaign called the Charlotte Chamber an "anti-LGBT bully" for encouraging the City Council to repeal the measure; the Chamber said Monday it takes "great offense" at the claim.

Morgan Stanley launches new wealth-management group in Charlotte

May 23, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Harbor Oak Group will join other wealth-management teams in Morgan Stanley's SouthPark area office, with a satellite office in Asheville. The new team will focus on portfolio management strategies with a concentration in small-business and retirement income planning.

Concord's Alevo names new CEO

May 20, 2016

Per Dybwad will replace founder Jostein Eikeland as CEO of Alevo SA, the company that is building its GridBanks energy-storage modules at the former Philip Morris cigarette plant in Concord. Dybwad comes from Dentware Scandinavia, a publicly traded 3-D printing company. Eikeland will remain executive chairman and will focus on Alevo's longterm goals.

Wells Fargo cuts more mortgage jobs in Charlotte region

May 20, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo is eliminating 16 jobs in its mortgage division in Charlotte and Fort Mill, S.C., as delinquent loans continue to fall. The bank could also be preparing to cut information-technology jobs as part of a companywide effort to consolidate functions, according to a memo sent to employees this week. Wells Fargo employs more than 23,000 in the Charlotte area.

Charter completes $55B purchase of Time Warner Cable

May 19, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Customers of Time Warner Cable won't see any immediate changes now that Charter Communications has completed its acquisition of the company, but the old name — which has consistently performed low in customer-satisfaction ratings — eventually will be retired. About 3,100 people work for Time Warner in Charlotte; some of those jobs could be relocated to St. Louis.

Lowe's outperforms other retailers as housing market strengthens

May 19, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Mooresville-based Lowe's reported better-than-expected first quarter financial results this week, with earnings of $884 million, up 31% from a year ago. Sales of $15.2 billion topped analysts' estimates of $14.9 billion. While other retailers reported disappointing results for the quarter, Lowe's, along with rival Atlanta-based The Home Depot, benefited from a mild winter and a strong housing market.

DEQ: Duke Energy must dig up all of its coal ash

May 19, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Duke Energy must excavate all of its coal-ash ponds across the state by 2024, the state Department of Environmental Quality said on Wednesday, though that decision could be overturned in 18 months if the utility can provide new data showing lower risk of groundwater contamination at the sites. Duke is currently removing ash from five "high risk" sites; it says capping the ponds considered "low risk" is a cheaper option that will save customers money.

Female worker sues BofA over unequal pay, 'bro's club' behavior

May 18, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

A female managing director at Bank of America says a male counterpart received a bonus three and a half times bigger than her 2015 bonus of $1.55 million. Megan Messina, a bank employee since 2007, also says a male supervisor excluded her from emails, meetings and other engagements with the group of men he was overseeing.

Charlotte's Goodmortgage.com bought by Va. company

May 16, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

First Guaranty Mortgage Corp. of Virginia will acquire Charlotte's Goodmortgage.com, an Internet-based lender founded in 1999. No layoffs are planned at the Charlotte office, which will operate as a separate division of First Guaranty.

Harris Teeter expands fuel business with 4th NC station

May 16, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Matthews-based Harris Teeter this week will open its fourth gas station in North Carolina, at Waterside Crossing in Denver, about 20 miles northwest of downtown Charlotte.

Delta Apparel cutting 160 jobs, closing Maiden plant

May 13, 2016

(MarketWatch.com)

Delta Apparel, the Greenville, S.C.-based company whose brands include Soffe and Salt Life, is shuttering its textile manufacturing plant in Maiden where it employs 160 people. The company is moving production to a facility in Honduras.

Triad

Novant Health reports 22% increase in excess income

May 31, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Novant Health reported on Friday $56.3 million in excess income — the equivalent of profit for a nonprofit company — for the first quarter, an increase of 22.1%. Total operating revenue topped $1 billion, a nearly 7% increase, for the Winston-Salem-based health care system

High Point Market reports slight dip in attendance

May 31, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

More than 79,000 people attended the High Point Market in April, about 1,000 fewer than the previous year. Attendance at last year's spring event rose 2.5% over the previous year.

High Point Market report could show HB2's impact on business

May 27, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The High Point Market on Friday will release attendance figures that could show the impact of House Bill 2 on the state's economic climate. Buyers for companies including Williams-Sonoma Inc. skipped last month's five-day event in protest of the law, which limits legal protections for LGBT people.

2 more BB&T execs announce retirement

May 27, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Ricky Brown, one of BB&T's top five executives, will retire Dec. 15. Brown, 60, was president of subsidiary Branch Banking & Trust and BB&T's community banking unit and had been considered a leading candidate to eventually replace Kelly King as CEO. David Weaver will become president of community banking. Also, Chief Marketing Officer Steve Wiggs plans to retire Sept. 30 after 37 years with the Winston-Salem-based bank.

Cone Health to manage Asheboro hospital

May 26, 2016

(Asheboro Courier-Tribune)

Greensboro-based Cone Health has entered into a management-services agreement with Randolph Hospital, effective June 1. The deal leaves only 11 N.C. hospitals that aren't affiliated with with another health care provider, Randolph Chairman Mac Pugh said.

Old Dominion approves $250M stock buyback program

May 24, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Directors of Old Dominion Freight Line authorized a $250 million share repurchase program. The Thomasville-based trucking company said it is within $12 million of completing its last stock repurchase program, launched in November 2014.

Wake Forest Baptist CEO to step down in 2017

May 23, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

John McConnell, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem since 2008, will step down in 2017 and will become executive director of Wake Forest Healthcare Ventures, a new company focused on commercializing ideas and products developed by researchers at the medical center and its related entities.

When artists boycott HB2, it's not just the fans who suffer

May 23, 2016

(WRAL.com)

When music acts such as Bruce Springsteen and Maroon 5 cancel North Carolina shows over House Bill 2, concert venues such as the Greensboro Coliseum, hotels and nearby restaurants are affected. So are volunteers such as school groups who work arena concessions as fundraisers for their programs.

Wake Forest Baptist revenue rose 8.9% in the third quarter

May 19, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The Winston-Salem-based medical center reported $1.7 billion in total revenue for the third quarter, compared with $1.6 billion a year ago.

Pabst sues MillerCoors over Eden plant closure

May 18, 2016

(News & Record, Greensboro)

The owner of Pabst Brewing Co. is suing MillerCoors, citing breach of contract over the planned closure of the company's Eden brewery, which will cost the town in Rockingham County 500 jobs. Miller agreed in 2014 to continue brewing Pabst beers for several year after Pabst was sold to a Russian company; Pabst says the Eden plant is the primary location where Miller brews its products. In the lawsuit, Pabst said it offered to buy or lease the plant; in its response, MillerCoors said Pabst suggested an amount far less than what the facility is worth.

BB&T slashes 241 jobs in Pennsylvania

May 18, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

BB&T will cut about 15% of the workforce of National Penn Bancshares, the Pennsylvania-based bank it acquired last month in a $1.8 billion deal. BB&T confirmed earlier this week it was closing 28 branches in Pennsylvania, leaving it with 329 in the state. The Winston-Salem-based bank has $15.2 billion in deposits in Pennsylvania, trailing only PNC Financial, Wells Fargo and Citizens Bank.

BB&T closing 28 branches in Pennsylvania

May 17, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

After completing two major purchases giving it more than 350 branches in the Keystone State, BB&T said Monday it will close 28 branches, 7.8% of it presence, in Pennsylvania. A spokesman for the Winston-Salem-based bank said no job losses are expected.

High Point Bank considered another offer, filing shows

May 16, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

BNC Bancorp wasn't the only company interested in buying High Point Bank last year, according to a filing released ahead of next month's shareholder vote on the deal. Another unnamed bank submitted a preliminary offer in October, a month before BNC announced it would acquire High Point Bank, one of the state's largest privately held banks with $853 million in assets.

Novant ends talks to buy Savannah hospital

May 12, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Novant Health has ended negotiations to purchase the 622-bed Memorial Hospital in Savannah, Ga. Winston-Salem-based Novant planned to invest $295 million in improvements at the hospital, where it has has been involved since 2012 through a shared-services agreement. CEO Carl Armato said talks broke down when the Chatham County (Ga.) Hospital Authority became "directly involved."

Natty Greene's plans restaurant, market at Greensboro's Revolution Mill

May 11, 2016

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Local beer-maker Natty Greene's Pub & Brewing Co. will invest about $3 million in a 250-seat restaurant and market at Revolution Mill, once part of textile giant Cone Mills that is being redeveloped by Durham-based Self-Help credit union. The restaurant will have less of a pub feel and will be more like a steakhouse, with prices ranging from $11 to $50.

Krispy Kreme to be acquired for $1.35B

May 10, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

JAB Holding will acquire the doughnut maker for $1.35 billion and take the company private. The German company has controlling interest in Keurig Green Mountain, Peet's and Caribou Coffee. The price represents a 25% premium of Krispy Kreme's closing share price of $16.86 on Friday. Shares soared 24% in afternoon trading on Monday.

Teleflex closing Arrow plant in Asheboro June 26

May 10, 2016

(The Courier-Tribune)

The parent company of Arrow International has announced a closing date for its Asheboro plant. Teleflex said in 2014 it would begin a phased shutdown of the factory, where the company makes medical products such as disposable catheters. The plant closing will impact 456 workers in the city with a population of about 26,000.

Herbalife says it's close to settlement with FTC

May 9, 2016

(WRAL.com)

Nutritional-products manufacturer Herbalife said Friday it is in advanced talks to settle a federal investigation into whether the company operates as a pyramid scheme. Shares rose $5.30 on Friday, closing at $63.62; the company's stock has risen 36% from a year ago. Herbalife employs more than 400 people in Winston-Salem.

FDA rules for e-cigarettes could spur lawsuits

May 6, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The FDA released new regulations for electronic cigarettes and vaporizers on Thursday that is likely to trigger lawsuits from manufacturers and vape shops. All e-cigs introduced after Feb. 15, 2007 must retroactively go through more stringent requirements, including providing more detail on liquid nicotine ingredients and manufacturing processes.

Fresh Market shutters 13 stores; NC locations spared

May 5, 2016

(Supermarket News)

Just weeks after Apollo Global Management closed on its $1.4 billion purchase of The Fresh Market, the Greensboro-based grocery chain said it will close 13 stores across the U.S. The closings include eight stores in Texas, two each in Iowa and Kansas, and one in Missouri.

Triangle

Chatham Park picks Eco Group for first phase of development

May 31, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Construction is expected to begin next year at Chatham Park, the massive planned community near Pittsboro led by Cary's Preston Development. The Eco Group will develop the first phase of commercial property, which could include a hotel, a brewery and an apartment complex for seniors. Construction on residential units also is expected to begin in about 12 months, with the first homes priced between $250,000 to $500,000. The 8,000-acre project is zoned for 22,000 homes.

NC DMV bans Tesla sales at Charlotte area store

May 27, 2016

(WFAE)

The N.C. DMV says Tesla Motors can't sell cars at its Matthews showroom, which opened last year. Under state law, automakers can't sell cars directly to consumers unless they can show it's in the public's best interest. Nearby dealers objected to the California automaker's plan to sell cars at its store near Charlotte. Oddly, Tesla can still sell electric vehicles at its Raleigh store, 166 miles away.

Raleigh's Paragon Commercial files for IPO

May 27, 2016

Paragon Commercial, parent of Raleigh-based commercial lender Paragon Bank, filed for an initial public offering on Thursday. The company plans to raise up to $29 million. Started in 1999, Paragon has $1.3 billion in assets.

BofA CEO visits new Raleigh office, says Triangle a growth market

May 27, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said he expects the company to boost its Triangle presence over the next several years because of the area's strong economic growth. Moynihan was in Raleigh this week to celebrate the company's new offices at an 18-story North Hills tower.

Report: Yadkin Financial may be seeking a buyer

May 25, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Raleigh-based Yadkin Financial has hired Sandler O'Neill & Partners to solicit offers, according to a Bloomberg News report. The Raleigh-based bank, with a market value of about $1.4 billion, completed its biggest purchase in March, paying $456 million for Greensboro-based NewBridge Bancorp. Yadkin has about $7.4 billion in assets.

Lenovo posts first annual loss in 6 years

May 26, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

PC-maker Lenovo cited a decline in smartphone sales and internal "operational issues" as reasons for the annual loss of $128 million, higher than the $126.6 million that analysts had predicted. Revenue fell 3% when compared with the previous year to $44.9 billion. In the last month, at least three analysts have cut their rating on Lenovo shares, according to Bloomberg. Smartphone shipments have continued to decline for the Beijing-based company, which has its North American headquarters in Morrisville, since acquiring Motorola Mobility in 2014.

Morrisville drug developer raises $49 million

May 26, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Arrivo Bioventures has raised $49 million to acquire or develop new drugs. The funding was led by Jazz Pharmaceuticals and also included Raleigh-based Rex Health Ventures. Arrivo's co-founder and CEO Steve Butts previously started Aerial Biopharma, which was later acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals.

Monsanto rejects Bayer's $62B offer, still open to talks

May 25, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

Monsanto said Tuesday that Bayer's all-cash bid valuing the seed company's stock at $122 a share wasn't high enough, but the company remains open to talks. Bayer's CropScience unit is based in RTP; the company said if a deal is struck, its headquarters would move to St. Louis, where Monsanto is based.

Durham entrepreneur earns spot on Inc.'s 30 Under 30 list

May 25, 2016

(Inc.com)

Tatiana Birgisson, the 26-year-old founder of Mati Energy, made Inc. magazine's 2016 list of coolest young entrepreneurs. Birgisson founded the energy-drink company in her dorm room at Duke University in 2012. Now sold in Whole Foods stores and soon available at Kroger and Costco, Mati expects to bring in $1 million in revenue this year.

California software company opens Raleigh office

May 25, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

WalkMe has opened a Raleigh office and plans to ramp up hiring over the next several years. The Silicon Valley-based software firm makes apps used by more than 700 companies, including AT&T, Cisco and Citrix Systems.

Bayer CropScience HQ could move to St. Louis if Monsanto deal approved

May 24, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

If Bayer's $62 billion offer for seed-maker Monsanto is approved, the headquarters for its crop science unit would be in St. Louis, not RTP, according to James Blome, CEO of the division. Bayer Crop Science currently employs about 1,000 people at its RTP headquarters and related sites. Blome said the company would continue to have a presence in the state, though the overall impact on jobs was unclear.

Raleigh's First Citizens Bank expands in Virginia with latest deal

May 23, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

First Citizens Bank will acquire Cordia Bancorp, parent of Bank of Virginia, for about $35 million. The purchase price of $5.15 per share reflects a 33% premium over Cordia's previous day closing price. Bank of Virginia has six branches in the Richmond area and about $348 million in assets. Last week, First Citizens bought Pennsylvania-based First CornerStone Bank in its ninth FDIC-assisted transaction since 2009.

Bayer makes $62B bid for Monsanto

May 23, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Germany's Bayer AG has offered to buy seeds company Monsanto for $62 billion including debt, a merger that could create the world's largest farm supplier. Bayer employs about 1,000 people at its plant science center at Research Triangle Park and has invested more than $150 million in the campus over the last four years.

Kane, Williams Realty team up on major downtown Raleigh project

May 23, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based Kane Realty and Williams Realty & Building Co. plan to invest $85 million to $100 million on the project, which encompasses nearly 4 acres at the corner of West and Peace streets in downtown Raleigh. Plans call for 400 apartments and up to 50,000 square feet of retail space.

Report: Raleigh's Sensus seeking a buyer

May 20, 2016

(WRAL TechWire)

Sensus USA, a Raleigh-based company that develops software and hardware for water and electric meters, is searching for a buyer, according to a Reuters report. The report says a sale could value the company at $1.7 billion, including debt. Currently owned by private-equity firm The Jordan Company, Sensus is working with Goldman Sachs Group and Credit Suisse Group, Reuters says.

Report: Raleigh is hottest housing market in NC

May 20, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

A study based on data from Zillow shows that Raleigh has the fastest-moving inventory of homes in the state, followed by Durham and Charlotte. Wilmington and Burlington rounded out the top five markets.

 

Raleigh company's latest perk: Teslas for all workers

May 19, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Forget about gym memberships and chair massages: In an effort to attract talented recruits, Raleigh-based Practichem will lease new Tesla Model 3's for new and existing employees. The company, which makes scientific instruments for the biotech industry, received a $5 million investment last month.

New Jersey drugmaker coming to NC despite HB2

May 18, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals had threatened to cancel plans to build a $19.9 million manufacturing facility in Morrisville over House Bill 2. The New Jersey-based drugmaker said Tuesday it will move forward with the expansion, which will create 52 jobs. The company applauded Durham Country's support of the LBGT community. In other HB2 news, violinist Itzhak Perlman canceled tonight's concert with the North Carolina Symphony over the new law.

Raleigh considers tax hike for Dix property, affordable housing

May 18, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh City Manager Ruffin Hall proposed a 2-cent property tax increase that would raise $11.4 million to finance debt the city took on to buy the former Dorothea Dix hospital property, which it plans to convert to a park, and to add 115 affordable-housing units. The average homeowner would pay an additional $95.16 a year.

Morrisville's MaxPoint posts 15% increase in Q1 revenue

May 17, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

MaxPoint Interactive increased its guidance for the year and reported first-quarter adjusted revenue of $19.4 million, up 15% from a year ago. Adjusted net loss was $1.48 per share; analysts had projected a loss of $1.51 per share. In late April, the digital marketing company completed a reverse stock split and this month moved its listing to the Nasdaq from the NYSE.

Eastern

No new film projects planned in Wilmington

May 31, 2016

(Star-News, Wilmington)

With a pair of film productions scheduled to wrap this summer in Wilmington, the industry could experience a lull. The state legislature is expected to approve another $30 million for the film grant fund, but no new projects have made plans to shoot in the area.

2 new interstate names approved for eastern NC

May 27, 2016

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Federal officials approved Interstate 42, a new proposed highway between Interstate 40 and Morehead City, and Interstate 87 along US 64/17 between Raleigh and Virginia. Gov. Pat McCrory says the roads will improve connectivity with Virginia's Hampton Roads area. No timetable has been given for when the roads will be built or how they will be funded.

Downtown Wilmington building sells for $3.15M

May 26, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

A group of Chapel Hill-based investors paid $3.15 million for a 21,600-square-foot building occupied by McKim & Creed, an engineering firm. McKim & Creed paid $387,680 for the building on North Front Street in 1985, property tax records show. The building, which dates back to the early 1900s, was once home to retailer J.C. Penney.

Duke Energy inks another deal to turn pig poop into power

May 25, 2016

(The Charlotte Observer)

Duke Energy will buy swine waste from Duplin County pork farms to serve power plants in Wayne and New Hanover counties. It's the utility's second deal announced this year to turn pig poop into power; Duke said in March it will partner with Carbon Cycle Energy to use methane from pig and poultry waste to generate electricity at four N.C. power plants. 

Yadkin Bank closing Wilmington branch

May 25, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Following its $456 million acquisition of Greensboro's NewBridge Bank, Yakdin Bank will close a former NewBridge branch in Wilmington. The branch on Military Cutoff Road will be consolidated with another location.

Wilmington Chamber CEO steps down after 22 years

May 23, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Connie Majure-Rhett, president and CEO of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce since 1994, is retiring effective immediately, citing family-related reasons. Faye Dunaway, chief operating officer, will assume day-to-day operations while the chamber begins a search for Majure-Rhett's replacement.

Belhaven declares state of emergency to save hospital

May 23, 2016

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

The town of Belhaven in Beaufort County is expected on Monday to institute a state of emergency to protect the former Pungo Hospital from being torn down. Vidant Health closed the hospital in July 2014. Mayor Adam O'Neal and other hospital supporters have set up tents in front of the building, hoping to prevent the building from demolition while fighting to reopen the hospital.

Delta plant closing won't impact Fayetteville operations

May 17, 2016

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The CEO of Greenville, S.C.-based Delta Apparel says the closing of Maiden textile plant will have little impact on the company's Fayetteville operations. Delta employs about 500 people in Fayetteville, including sewing and screen-printing operations for M.J. Soffe and a distribution center for beach lifestyle brand Salt Life. Both brands are owned by Delta.

Vertex Railcar lays off 61 workers in Wilmington

May 16, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Amid reduced demand for the sand hopper cars produced at its Wilmington plant, Vertex Railcar laid off 61 workers on Friday. A company spokesman says Vertex is shifting its focus to producing other types of railcars such as aggregate and foodservice hoppers and food-grade tank cars. The company announced in 2014 it would eventually hire more than 1,300 people at the 559,000-square-foot plant near Port of Wilmington. After the layoffs, Vertex has 221 employees.

Changes ahead at Port of Wilmington

May 16, 2016

(StarNews, Wilmington)

An Asian carrier is consolidating its twice-weekly call at Port of Wilmington into a single run using a larger ship. Any lost traffic will be made up with a new run to and from Mexico with European carrier Maersk, says Greg Fennell, chief commercial officer of the N.C. State Ports Authority.

Wilmington's Charlies Graingers lands franchise agreement

May 13, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Charlies Graingers Hot Dogs, Brisket and BBQ signed an agreement with Disabella Partners to develop 107 restaurants in the Carolinas. Disabella's first location will open May 19 in Ocean Isle Beach. Wilmington-based Charlie Graingers is a fast-casual restaurant that serves hot dogs and sandwiches.

Fayetteville Chamber president resigns abruptly

May 11, 2016

(The Fayetteville Observer)

After only six months on the job, retired Maj. Gen. Rodney Anderson has resigned as president of the Greater Fayetteville Chamber. Darsweil Rogers, chairman of the Public Works Commission, will take over as interim CEO on Friday. The chamber has been seen its membership decline by about 20% in recent years.

Hospital supporters hold tent vigil in Belhaven

May 9, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A group of activists has set up a tent encampment at the former Pungo District Hospital in Belhaven, a town of about 1,200 residents, worried that owners plan to demolish the building. Vidant Health shuttered the hospital in 2014, leaving some residents an hour's drive from the nearest ER. The hospital's supporters have until July 1 to give notice that they plan to reopen the hospital.

PGA officials turn focus to Eagle Point in 2017

May 9, 2016

(StarNews, Wilmington)

As the Wells Fargo Championship wrapped up Sunday in Charlotte, organizers are already promoting next year's tournament, which will be held at Eagle Point Golf Club in New Hanover County. Ticket sales have been brisk, and the Wilmington area expects an economic impact of $40 million to $60 million.

115 businesses targeted in undercover video-gaming raid

May 6, 2016

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Undercover agents seized hundreds of illegal video-gaming machines, cocaine and more than $1 million in cash from businesses in Cumberland, Robeson, Scotland, Lee and Moore counties in a raid that targeted 115 locations across the state.

Economist: Port of Wilmington will benefit from Panama Canal widening

May 3, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The Port of Wilmington needs to stay focused on accommodating growing demand for imports and exports within the state, PNC economist Mekael Teshome said in a report, rather than competing with larger ports. A widened Panama Canal is expected to open June 27. The N.C. State Ports Authority is investing $100 million at the port to accommodate more than one post-Panamax ship at a time.

Wrightsville Beach solar company files for direct public offering

May 2, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

In an S-1 filing, Koolbridge Solar disclosed plans to make about 2.5 million shares of common stock available to third-party buyers. The company is developing a residential breaker box that uses solar energy during sunny times and pulls power from the electrical grid only when solar energy, either direct or stored, is not available. The company expects its Smart Load Center, which will retail for about $600, to hit the market in the first quarter of 2017.

ECU names former Georgia state senator as its new chancellor

April 28, 2016

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Cecil Staton, 58, is currently interim president of Georgia's Valdosta State University and vice chancellor for extended education for the University System of Georgia. He served as a Republican state senator in Georgia from 2005-2014. The Greenville, S.C., native will begin July 1 and will receive an annual salary of $450,000, making him the third highest-paid chancellor in the UNC System. Staton succeeds Steve Ballard, who is stepping down after 12 years in the position.

Loss of conference will cost Wilmington nearly $1 million

April 27, 2016

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

The American Institute of Architects' decision to move a regional conference from Wilmington to either Georgia or South Carolina over HB2 will cost the Port City about $1 million, according to estimates. The event was expected to bring in between 1,000 and 1,200 visitors.

Houston Astros owner tours Fayetteville

April 26, 2016

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane was in Fayetteville on Monday, where he had preliminary talks with local officials about bringing a minor-league baseball team to the area. Crane said he hopes to have a stadium built by 2018.