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Western

Pardee Hospital lets CMO contract expire

November 20, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Pardee Hospital' board of directors decided not to renew the contract of Chief Medical Officer Robert Kiskaddon, who had served in the position for four years. The 222-bed Hendersonville hospital did not give a reason for the decision or announce whether an interim CMO has been appointed.

State suspends license of contractor who performed work at Boone hotel

November 20, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A state board has suspended the license of a contractor from Independence Oil and LP/Gas who performed faulty work on a pool heater at a Boone hotel where three guests later died from carbon monoxide poisoning. The board previously suspended the license of a heating contractor from Boone-based DJ's Heating Services for failing to recognize problems with the pool heater at the Boone Best Western following the first two deaths.

Asheville tech company acquired by NY digital media company

November 14, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville-based DoctorDirectory has been acquired by New York-based Everyday Health for $65 million and the company expects to add up to 20 employees to its existing 81 by year-end. Located in Asheville since 1999, DoctorDirectory provides communication between doctors and pharmaceutical companies. 

Lumber company adding 114 jobs in Graham County

November 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Oak Valley Hardwoods, a Charlotte-based subsidiary of China-based Tides and Times Group USA, will create 114 jobs and invest more than $10.1 million in a lumber operation in Robbinsville. The company will take over the former Stanley Furniture factory, where 400 workers – about 13% of the workforce in Graham County – lost their jobs when the company shuttered the plant earlier this year (Statewide, May).

Belk to close Biltmore Square store by January

November 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Charlotte-based Belk will close its retail store at Asheville's Biltmore Square Mall by the end of January, a company spokeswoman said. The mall is being transformed into an outlet center that is expected to open in the spring. Belk has another local store at Asheville Mall on Tunnel Road.

Country Club of Asheville could be sold to McConnell Golf

November 10, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Shareholders of the Country Club of Asheville will vote Nov. 19 on whether to sell the 120-year-old golf club to Raleigh-based McConnell Golf. If the deal is approved, McConnell will assume up to $2.3 million in debt and invest at least $4 million over three years.

Asheville's PLI to add up to 50 jobs

November 5, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Plasticard Locktech International will add up to 50 new jobs with the next two years, CEO Mark Goldberg said last week. Asheville-based PLI, which on its website calls itself the world's largest manufacturer of plastic hotel key cards, became employee-owned earlier this year. 

Linamar adding 150 jobs near Asheville

November 3, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Linamar will add 150 jobs with an average annual salary of $42,667 and invest $115 million in its Arden plant, where the Guelph, Ontario-based company will make gears for automatic transmissions for an unnamed automobile-maker. About 200 people currently work at the plant, which makes parts for diesel engines and off-road vehicles.

Duke Energy says Asheville still needs coal

October 29, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A Duke Energy spokesman told the Asheville City Council residents would not have enough electricity for daily activities if the company shut down its local coal-fired power plant. Earlier this month, the Sierra Club presented the Charlotte-based utility with a petition signed by local businesses asking for the plant to be closed.

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.

Charlotte

Dollar Tree expects FTC approval of Family Dollar deal

November 21, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser said Thursday he expects federal antitrust regulators will approve his company's proposed $8.5 billion acquisition of Matthews-based Family Dollar Stores without requiring it to divest too many stores. The companies agreed to sell as many as 500 stores, though Sasser told analysts he expects that number will be smaller, which could make the deal more attractive to shareholders.

CLT parking deck opens in time for Thanksgiving travel

November 21, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte Douglas International Airport's new $120 million hourly parking deck opened Thursday, adding 4,000 new public-parking spaces and 3,000 spaces for rental cars. The 3.2 million-square-foot parking deck is twice the size of Charlotte's SouthPark mall.

Charlotte economic-development leaders earn more in 2013

November 21, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Compensation for leaders of Charlotte's three economic-development groups increased in 2013, according to recent tax filings. Charlotte Chamber President Bob Morgan earned $404,368, up 2% over the previous year, while Michael Smith of Charlotte Center City Partners saw a pay increase of 8% and Ronnie Bryant of the Charlotte Regional Partnership received a 5% raise.

Family Dollar delays shareholder vote on Dollar Tree merger

November 20, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Matthews-based Family Dollar Stores rescheduled a shareholder vote on its planned acquisition by Chesapeake, Va.-based Dollar Tree to allow the Federal Trade Commission more time to review the deal. The vote on the $8.5 billion deal is now scheduled for Dec. 23. Family Dollar's stock remained above $78 a share Wednesday, higher than Dollar Tree's offer price of $74.50 a share.

More charges filed against Cornelius payroll company

November 20, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Federal prosecutors have filed additional charges against a Cornelius-based payroll company accused of defrauding more than 100 clients. James William Staz of Iron Station and his father, William James Staz of Huntersville, are accused of stealing more than $11 million from at least 113 clients of Employee Services Net. The new charges bring the total number of counts to 16.

BofA ranks lowest in customer satisfaction for fourth straight year

November 19, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Bank of America ranked lowest among large U.S. banks in the American Customer Satisfaction Index and is the only large bank whose customer-satisfaction rating remains below pre-recession levels. Its score of 69 out of a possible 100 is unchanged from last year. The index is part of a annual report compiled by Ann Arbor, Mich.-based market-research firm ACSI.

Chiquita CEO could get $15.4M payout after acquisition

November 19, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Chiquita CEO Ed Longeran could receive a golden parachute worth $15.4 million if he loses his job after Brazilian companies Cutrale and Safra Group acquire the Charlotte-based produce company. The new owners haven't said if they will move jobs from Chiquita's Charlotte headquarters, where the company employs about 320, when the deal closes, which could be by year-end.

Concord looks to end contract with Duke Energy in 2019

November 18, 2014

(The Independent Tribune)

Concord city officials unanimously approved a decision to pursue a contract with NTE Energy when the city's 10-year contract with Duke Energy ends in 2019. St. Augustine, Fla.-based NTE is a privately held startup company that is building three natural-gas fired power generation plants, including one in Kings Mountain (Statewide, April).

Cannon reports to federal prison Tuesday

November 18, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Patrick Cannon will begin serving a 44-month sentence in a West Virginia federal prison on Tuesday. The former Charlotte mayor pleaded guilty to accepting more than $50,000 in bribes from a local businessman and undercover FBI agents. Cannon could return home or to a Charlotte halfway house in fewer than two years if he participates in a nine-month drug-abuse treatment program and is awarded good-behavior incentives available to federal inmates.

Charlotte asks FAA to rule in airport dispute

November 17, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The city of Charlotte has asked the Federal Aviation Administration to issue a ruling that would allow it to continue running Charlotte Douglas International Airport. An October 13 decision by a Superior Court judge barred a 13-member state-appointed commission from assuming control of the airport.

BofA's rating for community lending downgraded

November 17, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A federal regulator lowered Bank of America's rating for community lending and investing, citing evidence of illegal credit practices such as an April settlement that resolved claims the Charlotte-based bank overbilled customers for identity-protection products. 

NC DOT plans toll lanes for Charlotte's Independence Blvd.

November 17, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The N.C. Department of Transportation plans to add toll lanes to Independence Boulevard as early as 2016. Drivers would use NC Quick Pass, an electronic toll system that incorporates electronic transponders mounted to windshields that is already being used for Wake County's Triangle Expressway.

Duke Energy to store coal ash in clay mines

November 14, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Duke Energy will move nearly 3 million tons of coal ash from its Sutton plant in Wilmington and its Riverbend plant near Charlotte to reclaim clay mines in Chatham and Lee counties. In addition to required synthetic liners placed under the ash, layers of clay in the mines, used by the brick industry, will help keep ash from infiltrating groundwater.

Charlotte's Johnny Harris says keeping airport costs low more important than control

November 14, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Johnny Harris, a prominent Charlotte real-estate developer and member of the Charlotte Airport Commission, said Thursday the matter of who runs Charlotte Douglas International Airport is less important than keeping costs low for its major carrier, American Airlines.

IT consulting firm adding 500 jobs across NC

November 13, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A company that provides IT consulting and business-process services plans to add 500 jobs in North Carolina by the end of 2018, including 150 in Charlotte. The new jobs will pay an average annual salary of $79,559. Teaneck, N.J.-based Cognizant, a Fortune 500 company, could receive a state grant of more than $5 million if it meets job-creation goals.  

BofA fined $250 million over foreign-exchange practices

November 13, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte-based Bank of America will pay a $250 million civil penalty to resolve a U.S. regulator's claims that it manipulated foreign-exchange rates. New York-based JP Morgan and Citibank were fined $350 million each, and all three banks were ordered to improve oversight of their foreign-exchange trading.

27-acre project planned near Charlotte's SouthPark Mall

November 12, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte-based Synco Properties and Austin, Texas-based Schlosser Development want to build apartments, a hotel, offices and retail shops on a 27-acre tract at Sharon and Colony roads near SouthPark Mall. If rezoning is approved, the 353-unit Colony Apartments, built in 1972, would be torn down.

Amazon to hire up to 200 in Concord

November 12, 2014

(The Independent Tribune, Concord)

Amazon will open for business next week at Concord Airport Business Park, and the online retail giant will begin hiring 150 to 200 people in January, Concord Mayor Scott Padgett said. Seattle, Wash.-based Amazon will operate a 225,500-square-feet "sortation center" that could eventually employ up to 300.  

German manufacturer investing $23M in Huntersville plant

November 11, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A German valve-maker will build a $23 million plant and add 61 jobs over the next five year in Huntersville. Bürkert Fluid Control Systems will relocate to Huntersville from Charlotte, where it employs 66. Bürkert makes valves, sensors and other products used in water treatment plants, medical equipment and food and beverage processing equipment.

Report shows wealthy investors prefer BofA, Wells Fargo

November 11, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A new report shows a combined 32% of investors with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million prefer Charlotte-based Bank of America and San Francisco-based Wells Fargo as their primary bank. New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. came in third.

Triad

Mount Airy-based Pike sets date for shareholder vote on buyout

November 21, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Shareholders of Mount Airy-based Pike Corp. will vote Dec. 18 on a $595 buyout proposal. New York private-equity investment firm Court Square Capital Partners will help fund the buyout of the energy company, which employs 5,700 across the United States.

BB&T announces plans for new Pennsylvania banking regions

November 21, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

BB&T will create three new geographic banking regions upon completion of its $2.5 billion acquisition of Pennsylvania-based Susquehanna Bancshares, and the company named three Susquehanna executives as regional presidents. The Winston-Salem-based bank also plans to form a new region for the state of Maryland. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

Duck Head retail store to open in Greensboro on Black Friday

November 19, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Prospect Brands will open a Duck Head flagship store in downtown Greensboro on Nov. 28, or Black Friday. Prospect acquired the 150-year-old apparel brand in 2013 and set up its headquarters in Greensboro. A grand-opening celebration will be held on Dec. 6-7.

BNC Bancorp announces $101M acquisition of Virginia bank

November 18, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

High Point-based BNC Bancorp will acquire Roanoke, Va.-based Valley Financial Corp. for $101.3 million in an all-stock deal. Valley Financial has nine branches in Roanoke and Salem, Va., and $857 million in assets. BNC has 47 branches in the Carolinas and will gain four more when it completes a pending $50.6 million acquisition of Charleston, S.C.-based Harbor Bank Group later this month. 

Reynolds American to launch cigarette that heats tobacco

November 18, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Winston-Salem-based Reynolds American will introduce a cigarette that uses a carbon tip to heat tobacco rather than burning it. Revo will launch in Wisconsin in early 2015.

Greensboro's Epes tries out natural-gas trucks

November 17, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Epes Transport System is experimenting with zero-emission trucks that run on compressed natural gas. The Greensboro-based trucking company is part of an N.C. State program that awards grants to companies that operate vehicles with clean fuel.

ZeekRewards founder pleads not guilty to federal charges

November 14, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

ZeekRewards.com founder Paul Burks pleaded not guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges at an arraignment before a magistrate judge in Charlotte. Burks is accused of gaining more than $10 million from the Lexington-based Ponzi scheme between January 2010 and August 2012.

BB&T to acquire Pennsylvania bank for $2.5 billion

November 13, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

BB&T will acquire Lititz, Pa.-based Susquehanna Bancshares for $2.5 billion in a cash and stock deal. Susquehanna has $18.6 billion in assets and 245 branches in central Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and West Virginia. Pending regulatory and shareholder approval, the deal will close in the second quarter of 2015.

ZeekRewards' Burks due in court Thursday

November 13, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Paul Burks will be arraigned Thursday on charges related to his involvement in the ZeekRewards online investment scheme, which bilked more than $800 million out of investors from more than 150 countries. About 50,000 of the victims lived in North Carolina. Burks, the alleged mastermind of the Ponzi scheme, faces up to 65 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Honda Aero reveals first jet engine made in Burlington

November 13, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Honda Aero unveiled the first jet engine made at its Burlington plant, which employs about 60 people and will be the exclusive engine builder for HondaJet, the light corporate jet manufactured at Piedmont Triad International Airport. Honda Aircraft expects to deliver its first $4.5 million HondaJet in early 2015 ("Ready to take off," February).

Old Dominion announces $200M stock buyback program

November 11, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Old Dominion Freight Line's board of directors announced a stock repurchase program of up to $200 million over two years. The Thomasville-based trucking company reported $2.07 billion in revenue for the nine-month period ended Sept. 30, compared with $2.34 billion for all of fiscal 2013.

Greensboro Partnership to unveil collaboration space

November 11, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

The economic-development organization will host the grand opening of CoLab, a co-working space for entrepreneurs in downtown Greensboro, on Nov. 17.  

Technimark investing $25M in Asheboro plant

November 10, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Technimark will add 163 jobs and invest $25.9 million over three years at its Asheboro headquarters and manufacturing plant, where the company employs nearly 1,000 people. Technimark makes plastic packaging components for consumer products including detergent and shampoo. 

Krispy Kreme plans 20 shops in Bangladesh

November 7, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Winston-Salem-based Krispy Kreme Doughnuts continues its global expansion with a franchise agreement to open 20 shops in Bangladesh over five years.

Excitement builds over Reynolds Building makeover

November 7, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership held its annual meeting at the 22-story former R.J. Reynolds headquarters building, which is being converted to a mixed-use development that will include a boutique hotel, restaurant and apartments ("Tower of Power," August). The project is scheduled for completion in fall 2015.

Philip Morris decision could impact Reynolds' approach to sourcing

November 6, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. could feel increased pressure to streamline its supply chain following Philip Morris International's decision to buy U.S. tobacco leaves from only two suppliers, Morrisville-based Alliance One International and Richmond, Va.-based Universal Corp. Labor advocates have pressured Reynolds for years to improve working conditions at tobacco farms.

Wake Forest Baptist gets another credit downgrade

November 6, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered the bond rating for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center from A+ to A. The report says the downgrade was due to the medical center's "weak operating performance." The bond rating credit service lowered its rating to A+ from AA in its last review on Nov. 1, 2013.
Related: "Baptist gets a fiscal," August

Greensboro Partnership picks search firm for new CEO

November 6, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

The Greensboro Partnership has hired national recruiting firm Jorgenson Consulting to lead the search for its new president and CEO. Pat Danahy, current CEO of the economic-development association, announced in August he will retire at the end of the year (Statewide, October).

Aerospace advocacy group looks beyond Triad

November 5, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

A new Greensboro-based nonprofit organization aims to develop a strategy for increasing growth prospects for aviation- and aerospace-related jobs across North Carolina. N.C. Aerospace was formed as part of the Piedmont Triad Partnership, but will likely become independent in 2015, allowing it to grow beyond the Triad region.

New technology leads to pay cuts for medical secretaries at Novant Health

November 5, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Winston-Salem-based Novant Health said it is cutting pay for medical secretaries, whose workloads have been reduced following the health system's rollout of an electronic medical records system. A total of 157 employees in Charlotte and Winston-Salem are affected. 

Triangle

Raleigh's Republic Wireless ranked No. 1 prepaid carrier

November 21, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based Republic Wireless unseated TracFone as the top-rated prepaid cellphone provider in Consumer Reports magazine's latest ranking. Republic, a spinoff of Raleigh-based Bandwidth.com, allows users to make calls over wireless Internet networks with cellular service as a backup when Wi-Fi isn't available ("Calling Ahead," September 2013).

Gil stepping down as dean at UNC Chapel Hill

November 21, 2014

(WRAL.com)

Karen Gil will step down as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC Chapel Hill at the end of the 2014-15 academic year. She will return to teaching in the department of psychology. Gil, who became dean in 2009, was mentioned in the recent Wainstein report on academic fraud at the university but was not implicated in the scandal.

Duke -UNC football makes national debut

November 20, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

For the first time, UNC Chapel Hill and Duke football teams will play each other in a prime time, nationally televised game on ESPN Thursday night. The Blue Devils must beat the Tar Heels and Wake Forest on Nov. 29 to secure the Coastal Division title, and UNC must beat either Duke or N.C. State in next week's matchup to become bowl eligible.

PRA raises $333M in initial public offering

November 20, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based PRA Health Sciences netted $333 million in its initial public offering. The contract-research organization sold 17 million shares at $18 each, below the $20 to $23 a share the company had projected, and its underwriters exercised an option to purchase an additional 2.5 million shares.

Pittsboro to review revised Chatham Park plan

November 20, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Preston Development and a group of investors will present a revised master plan for the 7,000-acre Chatham Park development to the Pittsboro Board of Commissioners on Monday. The new plan includes an additional 48 acres and revises the content of a few sentences in the developer's previous master plan, which the town approved in June.

Bill Gates' foundation provides financial support for Chimerix drug

November 19, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

The Gates Foundation will contribute $5.7 million to help ramp up production of brincidofovir, an antiviral drug produced by Durham-based Chimerix that is being tested in confirmed Ebola patients in West Africa.

PR expenses exceed $2M for UNC Chapel Hill

November 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

UNC Chapel Hill will pay public-relations firm Edelman more than $1.65 million for its services following the academic and athletic fraud scandal that involved at least 3,100 students. The university had previously spent about $500,000 on public-relations services related to the scandal. UNC officials say state money and tuition dollars will not be used to pay for the PR expenses.

Lee County residents oppose coal-ash storage plan

November 18, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

About 75 people turned out for a meeting of the Lee County Board of Commissioners Monday to show disapproval of Charlotte-based Duke Energy's proposed plan to store coal ash in five clay pits formerly used by a local brick manufacturer.

SAS to offer software discounts for educators

November 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

SAS will offer universities and K-12 school districts deep discounts on its analytics software through a contract with a nonprofit organization that assists educational organizations in 41 states. More than 3,000 educational groups worldwide use SAS software for tracking enrollment and retention and for budgeting.

FCC asks AT&T to explain delay in fiber-network deployment

November 17, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

The Federal Communications Commission has asked AT&T to better explain why it is delaying the deployment of its fiber network. The telecommunications company had planned to roll out its high-speed, gigabit Internet service in much of the Triangle and other parts of North Carolina, but said last week it has put a "pause" on network construction.

Study to look at safety and traffic flow in proposed Triangle rail corridor

November 17, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A coalition that includes local governments and the N.C. Department of Transportation has commissioned a $520,000 study to outline suggested safety improvements along a proposed light-rail corridor in east Cary and west Raleigh.

Duke's Fuqua tops list of MBA programs

November 14, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Duke University's Fuqua School of Business moved to No. 1 from No. 6 on Bloomberg Businessweek's ranking of full-time MBA programs. The rankings are based on a survey of company recruiters, a survey of graduating MBA students and published faculty research. UNC Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler Business School was ranked No. 12, up from No. 17.

Raleigh medical-device company files for bankruptcy protection

November 14, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Medical-device company Baxano Surgical has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company, which makes surgical products to treat degenerative spine conditions, was formed when Wilmington-based TranS1 acquired San Jose, Calif.-based Baxano, then moved its headquarters to Raleigh.

Halle Cos. plans 300-acre mixed-use development near RTP

November 13, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The Halle Cos. plans to build 600 single-family homes, 600 apartments and retail shops on a 300-acre site near Research Triangle Park. The Silver Springs, Md.-based company paid about $10 million to acquire the property. Construction is expected to begin in the spring. 

Chatham Park developer hires veteran business recruiter, planner

November 13, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Preston Development Co. hired Ken Atkins, former director of Wake County Economic Development, to help recruit businesses to Chatham Park, a 7,200-acre planned community that is expected to grow the town of Pittsboro's population from about 4,000 to more than 60,000. Charles R. "Chuck" Smith, a landscape architect with Cary-based Withers & Ravenel, was hired to oversee design.

Former Salix CFO gets $130K in severance

November 13, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Adam Derbyshire, who resigned as CFO of Raleigh-based Salix Pharmaceuticals last week, will receive $130,484 in severance and will serve as a consultant for the drug developer through August 2018, according to a regulatory filing.

Raleigh's Highwoods to build Nashville headquarters for Bridgestone

November 12, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based Highwoods Properties was selected to develop a 30-story headquarters building for Bridgestone Americas in downtown Nashville, Tenn. The $200 million project totaling more than 500,000 square feet is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2017. Highwoods owns 23 buildings in Nashville.

Duke completes acquisition of Wake County cancer clinics

November 12, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Duke Medicine completed its acquisition of Cancer Centers of North Carolina, formerly the state's largest private cancer clinic that at one time employed 19 doctors and more than 130 people. 

Durham ad agency lands Crocs account

November 12, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Durham-based advertising agency McKinney will handle global advertising for Crocs, the Colorado-based footwear company whose plastic clogs soared to popularity in the U.S. more than a decade ago. McKinney employs 160 people in Durham and 30 at a New York office. 

DOT plans improvements to Raleigh's Wade Ave. area

November 11, 2014

(WRAL.com)

The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting Wednesday to present a $92 million plan for improvements to a 3.5-mile stretch of Interstate 440 in Wake County. Plans include expanding the road from two lanes to three, adding interchanges and replacing bridges. 

Eastern

Wilmington startup launches app for wine and beer drinkers

November 21, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Wilmington-based Next Glass launched on Thursday its much-anticipated app designed to help beer and wine drinkers find brands they will like. The tech startup held its beta launch on Nov. 5, with 20,000 people signing up within 24 hours. Next Glass has raised more than $3 million from investors, according to CEO Kurt Taylor.

Moen expanding in New Bern

November 20, 2014

(Sun Journal, New Bern)

Moen will build a 200,000-square-foot component warehouse in Craven County to support its local faucet-assembly plant, where it employs 700 workers. The new warehouse will replace a current one in Kinston, which is managed by a third-party operator. The North Olmsted, Ohio-based company will add at least 75 jobs in New Bern within a year. Some of the jobs will go to employees from the Kinston warehouse that is closing.

Wilmington film studios halt tours to undergo renovations

November 20, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington has halted its popular weekend tours to complete renovations including improvements to roads, sound stages and landscaping. Tours will resume in March and will include sets from CBS Television's Under the Dome, which will begin filming its third season in early 2015.
Related: ABC's 'Secrets and Lies' wraps production, will premiere March 1

Foam manufacturer closing Edgecombe County plant

November 19, 2014

(Rocky Mount Telegram)

Nomaco will close its 500,000-square-foot foam-manufacturing plant in Tarboro in July 2015. About 80 of the company's 106 employees will be eligible to apply for jobs at its headquarters in Zebulon. The company makes insulation products for the construction industry, foam for use in bedding and home furnishings and other commercial products.

Methodist University to offer first doctoral program

November 19, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Methodist University broke ground in October on a 34,000-square-foot health sciences building where it will offer its first doctoral program. The Fayetteville university will launch its Doctor of Physical Therapy program with 40 students in fall 2015.

Rural communities face challenge attracting jobs

November 17, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Four small towns near Fayetteville are struggling to bring jobs back after manufacturing plants that once employed hundreds or thousands have shut down.  

Brunswick County considers new incentives policy

November 17, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Brunswick County commissioners will consider an incentives policy that could help small to midsize employers looking to expand or relocate in the area. If approved, the new policy would provide job-creation grants of up to $1,000 per full-time job created if a company commits to adding a minimum of 10 jobs. 

Rail-car manufacturer to create 1,300 jobs in Wilmington

November 14, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Vertex Rail Technologies will hire1,342 workers and invest $55 million to $60 million in a Wilmington plant where it will make rail tank cars that will be used to transport crude oil. The company will renovate a plant where Westport, Conn.-based Terex Corp. previously manufactured cranes.

GE Hitachi gets large order for nuclear reactor parts

November 14, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Castle Hayne-based GE Hitachi has received a large order for nuclear rod blades from a Swiss nuclear power plant. Financial terms of the order were not disclosed. 

UNC, CarolinaEast team up to build $30M cancer center in New Bern

November 13, 2014

(Sun Journal, New Bern)

UNC Cancer Care and CarolinaEast Health System announced a partnership that will feature construction of a $30 million cancer center in New Bern. The cancer center will adjoin CarolinaEast's medical center and is expected to be completed in about three years.

Manufacturer plans to bring 1,300 jobs to Wilmington

November 12, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

A company that will make tank cars, boxcars and hoppers is expected to announce on Thursday plans to create about 1,300 jobs in Wilmington. Vertex Rail Manufacturing will occupy a site where heavy-equipment manufacturer Terex previously made large tower cranes.

Dominion makes final attempt to solicit land owners' cooperation

November 12, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Resources sent letters to 226 land owners, including 32 in North Carolina, who have refused to allow the energy company to survey their land for the proposed 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Dominion will seek court orders to gain entry onto the properties if the owners refuse to cooperate.
Related: Defenders of Appalachia rally against pipeline

Live Oak makes list of healthiest U.S. banks

November 12, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Wilmington-based Live Oak Bank is ranked No. 126 on DepositAccounts.com's list of 2014 Top 200 Healthiest Banks in America. The website uses four measures of growth and stability to compile its rankings, which are based on data at the end of 2013. Only two other North Carolina-based banks made the list − Raleigh's CapStone Bank, which was acquired by Greensboro-based NewBridge Bank in 2014 and Greenville-based Select Bank & Trust, which moved its headquarters to Dunn after being acquired by New Century Bank.

TBS to film TV pilot in Wilmington

November 11, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

TBS will film a pilot for a TV comedy series in Wilmington in December. The untitled pilot will will be one of the last film projects to take advantage of North Carolina's 25% tax credit, which expires Dec. 31.

UNC Pembroke chancellor to retire

November 11, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

UNC Pembroke Chancellor Kyle Carter announced Monday he will retire June 30, 2015 after five years in the post. 

GE Hitachi gets federal grant to test new nuclear technology

November 10, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

GE Hitachi will receive a multimillion research investment by the U.S. Department of Energy to perform a safety assessment of its PRISM sodium-cooled nuclear reactor, which can generate electricity using spent nuclear fuel and surplus plutonium.

Hanover Federal to merge with Piedmont Advantage Credit Union

November 10, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Wilmington-based Hanover Federal Credit Union's 1,700 members will have access to more products and services, including mortgage and electronic-data products, when the organization merges with Winston-Salem-based Piedmont Advantage Credit Union Dec. 1. 

Cumberland County chicken plant may be back on the table

November 10, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Last week's election results could revive talks of bringing a $113 million chicken-processing plant to Cumberland County. Two of the county's newly elected commissioners are in favor of the Sanderson Farms plant, while two are undecided and three are opposed. The Mississippi-based company has said the plant would bring more than 1,000 jobs to the area.

Wilmington's Sutton Lake reclassified for fishing

November 10, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

State environment officials reclassified Sutton Lake as a public fishery, meaning the 1,100-acre lake will be subject to stricter water-quality standards and more frequent inspections. The New Hanover County lake was created to cool water from Duke Energy's nearby Sutton power plant. 

 

New Hanover Regional names new information officer

November 7, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

New Hanover Regional Medical Center named Joe Norris vice president of information services. Norris, who was the Wilmington-based hospital system's chief technology officer for three years, was selected following a national search.