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Western

Tanks arriving in March at New Belgium's Asheville brewery

February 27, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

New Belgium expects to receive a large shipment that includes 24 fermentation vessels and 6 tanks at its West Asheville brewery site in March. The $140 million brewery, which will be large enough to brew 500,000 barrels of beer, is expected to open by year-end.

Asheville restaurant workers look to improve work environment

February 26, 2015

(Mountain Xpress, Asheville)

Restaurant workers in Asheville want to improve working conditions in the area's booming hospitality industry. A group of workers voiced concern about having no sick days, being expected to work off the clock and being required to share tips illegally.

German manufacturer bringing 138 jobs to Mills River

February 25, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

German manufacturer Raumedic will build its first U.S. plant in Henderson County, creating 138 jobs and investing $26.3 million over five years. The company makes polymer components such as tubing and catheters for the medical and pharmaceutical industries. The new jobs will pay an average annual salary of more than $55,000.

Appalachia report shows progress, deficiencies

February 24, 2015

(News & Record, Greensboro)

A new report shows poverty rates in the Appalachian region have fallen by about half since 1965, when the Appalachian Regional Commission was established to help the 420 counties in the 13-state region. The study says the region still lags behind the rest of the country in several important measures.

 

Brevard College sheds investments in fossil fuels

February 24, 2015

(The Transylvania Times)

The Board of Trustees of Brevard College voted Friday to divest all of the school's endowments in fossil fuels and will reinvest the money into more environmentally friendly funds. The move was mostly symbolic, as only about $600,000 of the school's $25 million endowment is tied up in fossil fuels.

Opinion: JDIG program 'make or break' for Asheville-Hendersonville area

February 23, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The state's Job Development Investment Grant program, recently criticized in a report issued by the NC Justice Center, is an essential tool for both urban and rural areas to be able to compete with other states for jobs, according to Ben Teague and Andrew Tate, economic-development leaders in Buncombe and Henderson counties.

ScaleUp WNC selects first 15 companies

February 23, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

An organic-food distributor, a brewery and electric-bike manufacturer are among the first class of companies chosen by ScaleUp WNC, an initiative of the AdvantageWest economic-development partnership that will provide education and support to high-growth small businesses in western North Carolina.

Henderson County must wait on road, utility work at Seven Falls

February 17, 2015

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Since Seven Falls developer Keith Vinson was convicted in 2013 on fraud and conspiracy charges, Henderson County is left responsible for completing road and infrastructure work at the failed 1,400-acre development. Federal officials refused to reactivate permits for the work to be completed, and it will take six months to a year to secure new ones.

Dillsboro considers cash incentives to attract businesses

February 13, 2015

(The Sylva Herald)

When visitors step off of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in Dillsboro, at least nine vacant storefronts are there to greet them. Town leaders are hoping to lure new businesses by offering them cash incentives.

Transylvania Regional moves birthing services to Mission Hospital

February 10, 2015

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Transylvania Regional Hospital will move its birth-center services to Mission Hospital in Asheville beginning March 5. Dr. Jamie Ramsey, one of two OB-GYNs at the Brevard hospital, said the decision was made to provide a safer birthing process, particularly for high-risk pregnancies and babies that need more specialized neonatology care.

 

'Downton' exhibit could be boon for Asheville tourism

February 5, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Biltmore House expects a 10% increase in visitors in February and March, thanks to a temporary exhibit featuring costumes from the PBS TV series "Downtown Abbey." Mark Hemphill, vice president of marketing for Biltmore, says the bump in attendance should translate into more tourism spending in Asheville. The exhibit will be open through May 25.

Trade group seeks to build awareness in Western NC

February 2, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Fletcher-based Outdoor Gear Builders, a trade group that comprises 24 manufacturers based in Western N.C., will hold its first demo-day March 21. Outdoor-gear companies based in Western N.C. employ about 470 people, according to the AdvantageWest economic-development organization.

No end in sight for migration to Asheville

January 30, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville's population is growing at a rate of about three people a day, and the city will gain about 3,000 new apartment units over the next two years. The metro area, which includes Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson and Madison counties hasn't lost population in more than four decades.

Asheville Outlets to open May 1

January 29, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville Outlets, an open-air shopping center featuring about 75 retail shops, will open May 1. A job fair will be held March 26, though some stores are already hiring for management positions.

Asheville City Council considers 477 new apartments

January 27, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville City Council could approve two apartment projects totaling 477 units at its Tuesday meeting. A group of local residents have expressed concern over the 309-unit Biltmore Apartments, which they say will cause increased traffic and will be priced too high for the Oakley and East Asheville area.

Caterpillar to close Franklin plant, lay off 150 people

January 19, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Caterpillar will close its plant in Franklin, idling 150 workers by the end of next year. Opened in the early 1990s, the Macon County plant makes seals for heavy equipment. The Peoria, Ill.-based company said it will try to help workers find jobs at other plants.

Asheville Angels makes first investment in Plum Print

January 19, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville Angels has made its first investment, totaling more than $100,000, in Plum Print, a two-year-old local business that turns children's artwork into books. The group of angel investors was formed last year to invest in startups in the Asheville area and across the Southeast.

Rutherford County's first solar farm producing on target

January 19, 2015

(The Daily Courier, Forest City)

Rutherford County's first solar farm is up and running, and Asheville-based FLS Energy, which built the farm and leases the property, is talking with local economic-development officials about building a second farm. The 15-acre solar array is projected to produce enough electricity to power 300 to 350 homes.

Small Western NC breweries grow, thrive near larger ones

January 19, 2015

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Small craft breweries in Henderson and Transylvania counties are thriving in the shadow of Asheville (known as Beer CIty USA) and larger brewers such as Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues and New Belgium. 

Leader says Asheville needs to appeal to both locals and visitors

January 16, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The president of a downtown advocacy group says Asheville needs to be more welcoming to locals, who often avoid downtown on the weekends due to crowds of tourists and parking concerns.

Charlotte

Two BofA board members leaving

February 27, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Chad Holliday Jr. and Clayton Rose will not seek re-election to the board of directors at Bank of America. Holliday was named chairman of Royal Dutch Shell in October; Rose will become president of Bowdoin College in Maine. Also stepping down is Chief Accounting Officer Neil Cotty. Rudolf Bless, deputy chief accounting officer, will replace him.

Family Dollar stores could be rebranded

February 26, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser said he expects the discount-store chain will have to close no more than 300 stores in order to receive FTC approval of its acquisition Family Dollar Stores. He says many Family Dollar stores will be rebranded to Dollar Tree after the deal closes. Dollar Tree hasn't said how many jobs it will cut at Family Dollar's Matthews headquarters.

Emeril Lagasse closing Charlotte restaurant

February 26, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

E2 Emeril's Eatery in downtown Charlotte will close April 26 due to slow business. "The restaurant was never able to achieve the volume projected when we came to Charlotte," E2 tweeted. Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse opened the restaurant in 2012.

Allegiant adding third Florida route out of Concord

February 25, 2015

(The Independent Tribune, Concord)

Allegiant Air will add twice-weekly, nonstop service from Concord to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., beginning May 8. It's the low-cost carrier's third Florida destination from Concord Regional Airport; Allegiant already has flights to the Orlando and Tampa Bay areas. 

Charlotte's Polypore sold to Japanese chemical company

February 24, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte-based Polypore will be sold to a Japanese chemical company in a deal valued at $3.2 billion. Asahi Kasei will pay $60.50 per share in cash for the parent company of Celgard, which makes battery components and has plants in Charlotte and Concord.

U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins stepping down

February 24, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins will leave office in two weeks. Tompkins, 52, has been the top federal prosecutor for the Western District of North Carolina since 2010 and directed the corruption investigation of former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon. First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Rose will serve as acting attorney until a replacement is named.

Nine federal charges filed against Duke Energy

February 23, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Federal prosecutors on Friday filed nine misdemeanor charges against Duke Energy for coal-ash pollution at the utility's power plants in Asheville, Charlotte, Eden, Goldsboro and Moncure. In an earnings report released earlier in the week, Charlotte-based Duke said it had agreed to pay $102 million to settle the cases.
Related: Federal probe appears to blame Duke Energy, not NC DENR

Uptown Charlotte looks to attract more shoppers, retailers

February 23, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Uptown Charlotte, which is projected to have more than 15,000 residents by year-end, has plenty of restaurants and bars but a scarcity of retail shops. Chris Hemans, director of retail for Charlotte Center City Partners, says adding better signage for parking and encouraging existing retailers to stay open on the weekends will help lure more shoppers uptown.

CaroMont Health extends lease agreement with Gaston

February 23, 2015

(The Gaston Gazette)

CaroMont Health will extend its lease agreement with Gaston County for 40 years and plans to invest $200 million in improvements at the 435-bed hospital. The health system will continue to rent the property for $1 a year, but will make a one-time payment of $20 million to the county in March.

Belk closing Pineville distribution center, moving jobs to SC

February 20, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte-based retailer Belk will lay off 111 workers at a Pineville distribution center as it expands in Jonesville, S.C. Affected employees were offered jobs at the Jonesville center, about 75 miles southwest of Charlotte. The privately owned department-store chain operates 300 stores in 16 states.

Charlotte considers incentives for Frito-Lay expansion

February 20, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte City Council will consider incentives for Frito-Lay to expand its local plant. The snack-maker would invest $74 million in its 38-year-old factory in southwest Charlotte, adding 30 to 35 jobs to its 563 by 2018. 

Charlotte gets seasonal flight to Albuquerque

February 19, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

American Airlines will add a seasonal nonstop flight from Charlotte to Albuquerque, N.M., beginning June 5. It's Charlotte's first nonstop flight to New Mexico's largest city.

Duke Energy to pay $100M penalty in coal-ash probe

February 18, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte-based Duke Energy said it will pay about $100 million to resolve a federal investigation of its coal-ash management. The investigation began about a year ago, following the Feb. 2, 2014 spill that dumped up to 39 million tons of coal ash into the Dan River ("Heart of Coal," April 2014).

Concord's Alevo inks deal with wholesale energy supplier

February 18, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Alevo Group signed an agreement with Philadelphia-based Customized Energy Solutions to supply 200 megawatts of its GridBank energy-storage units. Alevo opened a manufacturing site in October at the former Philip Morris plant in Concord and plans to hire up to 2,500 workers within three years (Statewide, December).

BofA's Moynihan earns less in 2014

February 18, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan's compensation fell to $13 million in 2014, $1 million less than the previous year. Moynihan's base salary remained the same, while his stock bonus fell to $11.5 million from $12.5 million in 2013. Annual profit for the Charlotte-based bank fell by 58%.
Related: "After the Fall," January

Charlotte airport hiring manager to boost development

February 16, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte Douglas International Airport plans to hire a new economic affairs manager to help it recruit companies – specifically industrial, warehouse and logistics businesses – that want to locate at or near the airport.  

NC Research Campus adding 3rd spec laboratory

February 13, 2015

(The Independent Tribune, Concord)

The North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis will invest $1.5 million on construction of a third speculative laboratory suite. Construction will begin this spring on the space, which will total at least 4,800 square feet and can accommodate several companies.

Speedway Motorsports realigns top execs

February 13, 2015

(The Independent Tribune, Concord)

Bruton Smith will step down as CEO of Speedway Motorsports and Marcus Smith, his son, will assume the role. Bruton Smith, CEO and chairman since the Concord-based company's initial public offering in 1995, will become executive chairman. Marcus Smith has served as president and chief operating officer since 2008.

BofA lays off 250 in Charlotte

February 12, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Bank of America will lay off 250 mortgage and technology workers in Charlotte. Most of the affected employees work in uptown's Gateway Village. The Charlotte-based bank announced last week it was laying off 202 people in its Legacy Assets Servicing unit, which services troubled loans, in Norfolk, Va.

Crescent unveils plans for uptown Charlotte development

February 12, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Crescent Communities plans to begin construction of a mixed-use project in uptown Charlotte in the fourth quarter. The development will include up to 400 hotel rooms, 450 apartments and a 47,000-square-foot Whole Foods grocery store with a rooftop deck. Construction is expected to be complete by late 2017.

Triad

BB&T receives subpoenas over FHA-backed loans

February 27, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

BB&T received subpoenas from the Department of Justice regarding an audit of government-backed mortgage loans. The Winston-Salem-based bank said it was notified of the audit last June and has set aside $85 million to comply with the issue.

Ruger reports 65% drop in net income

February 27, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Gun-maker Sturm, Ruger & Co. reported a 65.2% drop in net income in 2014 due to weak sales, higher operating costs and an expense related to its pension plan. The Southport, Conn.-based company opened a Mayodan plant in 2013 and plans to create 473 jobs by 2017.

Tobacco companies settle federal Engle cases

February 26, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA will each pay $42.5 million while Lorillard will pay $15 million to settle Engle progeny lawsuits that are either pending or that haven't yet gone to trial in Florida federal courts. The settlement affects more than 400 pending cases, but doesn't affect state cases, which represent most of the lawsuits against the tobacco companies.

VF announces location of jeanswear innovation center

February 26, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

VF Corp. said it will open its previously announced jeanswear innovation center at Greensboro's Gateway University Research Park. The Greensboro-based apparel company plans to hire 30 scientists, technical designers and other employees at the center by the end of 2016. N.C. A&T State University and UNC Greensboro are partners in the project.

$1.2 billion spent on revitalization of downtown Winston-Salem

February 25, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Since 2000, a total of 88 projects with a combined investment value of $1.2 billion have been completed or are underway in downtown Winston-Salem. Health and technology projects, including the $106 million Wake Forest BioTech Place at Innovation Quarter, represent $445.4 million of the total.

Hanesbrands to acquire SC collegiate-apparel company

February 25, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Hanesbrands plans to buy Spartanburg, S.C.-based Knights Apparel for $200 million. The company sells T-shirts and other apparel with college sports logos. Its clients include about 400 U.S. colleges and universities, and fiscal 2015 sales are projected to be about $180 million. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Mast General Store coming to downtown Winston-Salem

February 25, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Mast General Store will open its ninth store – its sixth in North Carolina – in downtown Winston-Salem in May. The company's first store was founded in 1883 in Valle Crucis. The 15,000-square-foot Winston-Salem store will be located in the 87-year-old building that originally housed the Brown-Rogers-Dixson Co. hardware store. The store will employ about 35 people.

Chinqua Penn sold for $1.35M

February 24, 2015

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Chinqua Penn Plantation has a new owner. Legends International Inc. paid $1.35 million for the Reidsville property on Monday. Built in the 1920s, the 27-room estate was last owned by SunTrust Bank, which bought it at auction after previous owner Calvin Phelps filed for bankruptcy in 2012 ("Rise and Fall of Renegade," October).

Reynolds' organic-cigarette brand gaining market share

February 23, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Natural American Spirit, an additive-free cigarette popular in some countries in Asia and Europe, has been steadily gaining market share in the United States. Winston-Salem-based Reynolds American acquired the brand with its $340 million purchase of Santa Fe Tobacco in January 2012. 
Related:
New partnership may give Reynolds more credibility on smoking alternatives
Tobacco companies fighting over claims on smoking's effects

Matheny wants to lead Downtown Greensboro Inc.

February 20, 2015

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Greensboro City Councilman Zack Matheny said he will apply to be president and CEO of Downtown Greensboro Inc. Jason Cannon resigned earlier this month from the top post of the downtown-advocacy group.

Reynolds looks to expand line of smoking-cessation products

February 20, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Reynolds American is partnering with pharmaceutical company PinneyAssociates to develop products related to smoking cessation. The Winston-Salem-based tobacco company began distribution in September of Zonnic nicotine gum. 

VF adding 150 retail stores

February 19, 2015

(News & Record, Greensboro)

VF plans to add 150 retail stores to its existing 1,401 in 2015. The Greensboro-based apparel company, whose brands include The North Face, Timberland and Wrangler, reported record revenue in 2014 of $12.3 billion.

TW Garner announces new leadership team

February 19, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

TW Garner Food, the Winston-Salem-based maker of Texas Pete Hot Sauce, has named President Ann Garner Riddle chief executive officer. The company also shuffled management positions of three other leaders in order to open up the executive vice president and vice president positions to nonfamily members, according to Chief Marketing Officer Glenn Garner.

Krispy Kreme celebrates 1,000th store with free doughnuts

February 18, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts will open its 1,000th store next Tuesday, and the Winston-Salem-based company plans to offer a free doughnut to the first 1,000 customers at all of its stores worldwide to celebrate the milestone. The Kansas City, Kan., store will be the company's fourth in the state.

Kelly makes it permanent at Piedmont Triad Partnership

February 17, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Retired Wells Fargo executive Stan Kelly will serve as CEO and president of the Piedmont Triad Partnership on a permanent basis, the economic-development group said. Kelly took over the roles on an interim basis in January, replacing David Powell. Kelly retired last summer as regional president for San Francisco-based Wells Fargo.

IMC buys High Point's Commerce & Design building for $11.2M

February 16, 2015

(High Point Enterprise)

International Market Centers paid $11.2 million for the 9-story Commerce & Design building in downtown High Point, public records show. Based in Las Vegas and High Point, the company plans to invest $2 million in the 257,180-square-foot building over the next five years. The purchase expands its local holdings to 6.7 million square feet.

Road projects underway in Greensboro area

February 16, 2015

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Nearly $630 million in road-construction projects are underway or about to get started around Greensboro, including two segments of the Greensboro Urban Loop. A spokesman from the N.C. Department of Transportation says the Greensboro area is at or near the top statewide for the number of major road projects in progress.

Reynolds' Vuse available in 100,000 stores

February 13, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co. said its Vuse electronic cigarettes are now available in about 100,000 retail outlets. The Reynolds American subsidiary began national distribution of Vuse in June. Meanwhile, Greensboro-based Lorillard reported declining sales of its blu eCigs branded electronic cigarettes. Sales of blu dropped 27.8% during the fourth quarter of 2014.

Greensboro-based Lorillard reports 16.3% increase in net income

February 12, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Lorillard reported a 16.3% increase in fourth-quarter net income to $327 million. The Greensboro-based cigarette manufacturer also said sales increased 1.4% to $1.77 billion. Net income for the full year was $1.19 billion, up 0.6% from the previous year.

Whitaker Park developers ask Winston-Salem, Forsyth County for $8M

February 11, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The nonprofit corporation that plans to redevelop R.J. Reynolds Tobacco's Whitaker Park manufacturing campus has asked Forsyth County and the city of Winston-Salem for $8 million for infrastructure improvements on the 120-acre property. The group is likely to seek additional funding from other sources, including the N.C. Department of Transportation.

Triangle

Shareholder advisory firms give thumbs up to Pantry sale

February 27, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co. recommend that shareholders of The Pantry approve its pending sale to Alimentation Couche-Tard. Cary-based The Pantry operates more than 1,500 convenience stores in 13 states, primarily under the Kangaroo Express brand. Couche-Tard has 6,303 convenience stores in North America. Most of its U.S. stores operate as Circle K.

Lenovo's website hacked following adware controversy

February 26, 2015

(WRAL TechWire)

A hacker group called Lizard Squad said they are responsible for hacking Lenovo's website Wednesday evening. The Beijing-based computer-maker, which has its North American headquarters in Morrisville, came under fire last week when it was discovered that it had pre-installed malicious adware on some of its laptop computers.

Lenovo issues apology over adware

February 24, 2015

(WRAL TechWire)

Lenovo's chief technology officer apologized to customers about the Superfish adware the computer-maker pre-installed on laptops between September 2014 and January 2015. The company, which has its North American headquarters in Morrisville, first said the adware posed no security risk then later changed its statement and now calls the risk "severe."

Morrisville's MaxPoint details plans for IPO

February 24, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Morrisville-based MaxPoint Interactive hopes to sell 6.5 million shares priced between $10.50 and $12.50 each in its initial public offering, according to a regulatory filing Monday. The digital-marketing company helps clients determine the best neighborhoods to market their products.

Allegiant Air begins service from RDU to Florida

February 24, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Low-cost carrier Allegiant Air will begin twice-weekly service from Raleigh-Durham International Airport to three Florida airports. The Las Vegas-based airline will begin flights to St. Pete-Clearwater on May 6 and to Orlando-Sanford and Punta Gorda on May 7. Introductory fares ranging from $44 to $54 are being offered to passengers who book trips by Wednesday. 

Valeant to acquire Raleigh's Salix for $10 billion

February 23, 2015

(WRAL.com, Raleigh)

Valeant Pharmaceuticals will acquire Raleigh-based Salix Pharmaceuticals for approximately $10 billion, or $158 per share. Including debt, the all-cash deal is valued at about $14.5 billion. Laval, Quebec-based Valeant makes prescription and over-the-counter eye- and skincare products. Salix develops drugs to treat gastrointestinal illnesses. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Shalag expanding, creating 40 jobs in Granville County

February 23, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Shalag Industries will invest $16 million in an expansion of its Oxford manufacturing plant and plans to add 40 jobs to its existing 74 over three years. The Israel-based company makes non-woven materials for baby diapers and medical and industrial wipes.

Reports say Lenovo adware may cause security issues

February 19, 2015

(WRAL TechWire)

Global media outlets are reporting that some Lenovo laptops are preloaded with malicious software that could pose a security threat. The security hole is related to Superfish, an adware program the world's No. 1 PC maker pre-installed on some of its computers. 

Cary's PurThread partners with Burlington

February 19, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

PurThread Technologies will partner with Greensboro-based textile company Burlington to develop products incorporating the Cary company's anti-microbial yarns. PurThread, which previously sold products such as lab coats and scrubs directly to hospitals, now works specifically with established corporate partners including Eastman Kodak.

MaxPoint Interactive's 2014 revenue exceeded $100M

February 18, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

MaxPoint Interactive, the Morrisville-based digital-marketing company that recently announced plans to go public, had revenue of $106.5 million in 2014, up 61% from the previous year, according to a securities filing.

Anheuser-Busch drops legal battle with Natty Greene's

February 17, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Anheuser-Busch has withdrawn its opposition to Natty Greene's Brewing Co.'s trademark application for the phrase "Natty Greene's," a name the Greensboro-based brewer has used for more than a decade. Anheuser-Busch had argued the phrase is too similar to its trademarked "Natty Light" phrase it uses to promote its Natural Light beer.

Ed Mitchell closes Durham barbecue restaurant

February 17, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Barbecue pitmaster Ed Mitchell has closed his restaurant at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham after being open for less than a year. Mitchell says the space was too small to meet the restaurant's demands and he is looking to reopen in a larger space in the Triangle.

First Citizens to acquire Atlanta-based community bank

February 16, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

First Citizens Bank of Raleigh will acquire Capitol City Bank & Trust, a community bank based in Atlanta with eight branches and $275 million in assets. Its the bank's seventh FDIC-brokered acquisition since the financial crisis began in 2007.

Report: Canadian pharmaceutical may make bid for Salix

February 16, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals has lined up financing for a possible acquisition of Raleigh-based Salix Pharmaceuticals, according to a report from Bloomberg News. Valeant could offer more than $150 a share, the report says. Salix, which makes drugs for gastrointestinal illnesses, canceled a planned $2.7 billion merger with Italy-based Cosmo Pharmaceuticals last fall.

Lenovo finds success with its ThinkPad products

February 16, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Despite growing competition from rivals including Apple, Lenovo reached the milestone of selling 100 million ThinkPad laptops in December. The world headquarters for the China-based company's ThinkPad brand of products is in Morrisville.
Also: RTP campus leased to Lenovo sells for $127M

Quintiles cutting 270 jobs

February 13, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Durham-based Quintlies will lay off 270 workers worldwide, less than 1% of its workforce of 32,600. The company hasn't said how many of the contract-research organization's 2,500 Triangle employees will be affected by the job cuts, which are the result of a corporate restructuring.

UNC Chapel Hill tied for second in IPO class of 2014

February 13, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Three chief executives who took their companies public in 2014 were graduates of UNC Chapel Hill, according to Equilar, a Calif.-based firm that provides data about executive compensation. Harvard produced seven CEOs who led their companies through IPOs last year, while Columbia University, Stanford University, Texas Tech University and UNC Chapel Hill each had three.

 

FBI investigates Chapel Hill shootings

February 13, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The FBI has launched an investigation into the killings of three Muslim-American students in Chapel Hill earlier this week. Police said the shootings may have been the result of a parking dispute, but the victims' families believe it may have been a hate crime.

Planning commission approves North Raleigh Publix

February 11, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh's planning commission approved a proposal that would allow for 58,000 square feet of retail shops anchored by a Publix grocery store in North Raleigh. Raleigh City Council must now decide on the controversial rezoning, which neighbors say will increase traffic and could put other nearby food stores out of business.

UNC Hospitals denies claims it overbilled Medicare

February 10, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

UNC Hospitals will appeal an audit report that shows it overbilled Medicare by about $2.5 million. The federal insurance program is demanding repayment from the health system, but UNC says that 56 of 59 total claims in question were billed correctly.

Eastern

FCC ruling will allow Wilson to expand broadband network

February 27, 2015

(WRAL TechWire)

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday in favor of municipal broadband providers, a move that will allow the city of Wilson to expand its Greenlight Internet service beyond the city limits. The ruling overrides state laws that had restricted growth of the municipal networks.
Related: Tillis moves to overturn FCC ruling on local broadband

FCC expected to hear Wilson's broadband case today

February 26, 2015

(WRAL TechWire)

The Federal Communications Commission may decide today on the City of Wilson's petition for the federal agency to override state laws that limit municipal broadband networks. Wilson built its own Greenlight fiber network in 2009 and wants to extend the network beyond the city limits and into neighboring counties.

New Hanover DA asks state to broaden probe of CFCC

February 25, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

New Hanover County district attorney Ben David has asked the State Bureau of Investigation to broaden its investigation of Cape Fear Community College amid new allegations against former president Ted Spring, who resigned abruptly in January. A member of the board of trustees alleges Spring asked an employee to write a report for him in exchange for consideration for a promotion.

Vidant board approves $320 million bond proposal

February 25, 2015

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

Vidant Health approved a $320 million bond proposal that would fund construction of a $194 million cancer center and other projects. The Greenville-based health care system plans to break ground on the cancer center March 20.

Wilmington's nCino raises $29 million

February 25, 2015

Wilmington-based software company nCino Inc. completed a $29 million round of financing led by New York-based private-equity firm Insight Venture Partners. Spun out of small-business lender LIve Oak Bank in 2012, nCino plans to use the funds to expand in the United States, enter international markets, accelerate product development and add new employees.

ECU medical school seeks more funding

February 24, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard wants the state legislature to increase funding for the Brody School of Medicine by $8 million this year and by $30 million each year afterward. Ballard says the school needs the additional funding to keep training doctors for rural North Carolina and to keep operating clinics that serve eastern N.C. residents who can't afford to pay for healthcare.

Fayetteville approves incentives for chicken plant

February 24, 2015

(WRAL.com)

Fayetteville City Council voted 7-3 in favor of incentives for Sanderson Farms to build a chicken-processing plant that would create 1,000 jobs. Cumberland county commissioners approved economic incentives for the project in January, reversing an earlier decision. The Mississippi-based company hasn't said if it is still considering Cumberland for its proposed plant; Robeson County held a hearing last week for a similar project, speculated to be Sanderson Farms. 

DOT's draft Rail Plan includes improvements in southeastern NC

February 23, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Released Friday, the N.C. Department of Transportation's draft State Rail Plan includes improvements to passenger and freight rail service in southeastern North Carolina. The plan mentions a potential passenger rail line between Wilmington and Raleigh, and proposes a study of a passenger rail corridor linking Wilmington and Charlotte.

Butterball creating 367 jobs in Raeford

February 20, 2015

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Garner-based Butterball will invest $70 million in the former House of Raeford turkey plant and plans to create 367 jobs. That's welcome news to the town of Raeford, where more than 1,300 people lost their jobs in 2013 and 2014 when House of Raeford closed two local plants ("Turkey Trot," January).

Wilmington officials to press for expansion of film grant program

February 20, 2015

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Elected officials and film-industry leaders joined together at a press conference in Wilmington on Thursday and said they would advocate to increase funding for the state's new film grant program. Johnny Griffin, director of the local film commission, said that normally at this time of year Wilmington would have received 20 to 25 inquiries about film projects – this year there have been three.

Wilmington awaits film announcement

February 19, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Film-industry leaders in Wilmington will make an announcement at EUE/Screen Gems Studios at 10:30 Thursday morning. Mayor Bill Saffo will be on hand, as well as Bill Vassar, executive vice president of the studios, and other local leaders. No further details were provided.

Robeson County may have violated state law in approving incentives

February 18, 2015

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Robeson County may have violated the state's open meetings law when it approved incentives for an unnamed company – speculated to be poultry producer Sanderson Farms – to bring 1,000 jobs to the county. Robeson County Attorney Patrick Pait disagrees, and says there will be additional hearings on the project if it advances.

Chapel Hill developer selected for Wilmington's Water Street project

February 18, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Chapel Hill-based East West Partners was chosen to redevelop the Water Street parking deck in downtown Wilmington. The company's initial proposal includes 554 parking spaces, 190 apartments and more than 31,000 square feet of retail space.

Hundreds turn out for hearing on offshore drilling

February 18, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Almost 400 people signed in Tuesday night at an information session on offshore drilling in Wrightsville Beach. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management took comments via written notes and electronic submissions on a proposal by the Obama administration that would allow oil and gas exploration of the North Carolina coast.

Cumberland votes in favor of Sanderson Farms incentives, Robeson approves similar deal

February 17, 2015

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Cumberland County commissioners approved incentives for Sanderson Farms to build a $95 million chicken-processing plant, while nearby Robeson County and the town of St. Pauls approved incentives for an unidentified company that closely resembles the Mississippi-based poultry processor. The Sanderson Farms plant could bring about 1,000 jobs to the region. 

Public hearing set for offshore drilling

February 17, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy and Management plans to hold a public hearing Tuesday in Wrightsville Beach to discuss drilling for oil and gas off the North Carolina coast. 

Leases for offshore wind farms could be issued in 2016

February 16, 2015

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

Leases for wind turbines off the coast of North Carolina could be awarded as early as 2016, according to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The agency recently held public hearings in three coastal communities that could be impacted by the turbines. Some residents fear the turbines could harm the coastal tourism industry.

Loan default won't impact shoppers, tenants at Wilmington mall

February 16, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

A $110 million delinquent loan will not affect day-to-day operations at Wilmington's Independence Mall, according to a spokeswoman from the property-management group that runs the 1 million-square-foot shopping center.

NC Ports Authority to sell coastal properties

February 12, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The N.C. State Ports Authority will shed about a dozen properties and plans to use the proceeds for capital improvements at its deepwater ports in Wilmington and Morehead City. The authority will sell the 42-acre Southport Marina and 11 mostly undeveloped properties in Brunswick, Carteret and New Hanover counties. 

Robeson to hold incentives hearing for familiar-sounding project

February 12, 2015

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Robeson County and the town of St. Pauls will hold public hearings Monday on "Project Apple," an unidentified economic-development project that closely resembles the Sanderson Farms proposal that Cumberland County commissioners also plan to vote on Monday. Newspaper advertisements said the project would involve a $115 million investment and create 1,100 jobs.