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Western

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.

Apartment growth surges in South Asheville

September 25, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Brevard brewery fuels growth for Oskar Blues

September 19, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

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

Noble Cider expanding, moving to West Asheville

September 18, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Asheville river district could receive millions more

September 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

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

September 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

About 600 turn out for final fracking meeting

September 15, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Buncombe likely to provide incentives for Wicked Weed expansion

September 12, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Equestrian center brings challenges, benefits to Polk County

September 11, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

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

Charlotte

Food Lion gets third president in less than two years

October 31, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Food Lion President Beth Newlands Campbell is resigning this week, citing personal and professional reasons. She has held the position since December 2012. Meg Ham, president of Bottom Dollar Food, will replace her. Both Food Lion and Bottom Dollar are Salisbury-based subsidiaries of Brussels-based Delhaize Group.

Former BofA chairman takes leadership role at Shell

October 31, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Chad Holliday, chairman of Bank of America from 2010 until CEO Brian Moynihan replaced him earlier this month, will become chairman of gas company Royal Dutch Shell next year. Holliday will continue to serve on the Charlotte-based bank's board.

Official: Gaston needs more shell buildings to attract industry

October 31, 2014

(The Gaston Gazette)

Donny Hicks, director of economic development for Gaston County, thinks the county needs more spec buildings to attract new business. He says the area has fewer buildings available than at any time in the past 30 years, while shell structures are going up in neighboring counties.

Alevo predicts up to 6,000 jobs in five years

October 30, 2014

(The Independent Tribune, Concord)

Battery-maker Alevo says it could add as many as 6,000 jobs over the next five years at its manufacturing plant in Concord. The Swiss company expects to begin shipping utility-scale batteries it will manufacture at the site of the former Philip Morris plant in July 2015. 

Charlotte's SPX to split into two companies

October 30, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte-based SPX will spin off its flow products division – which includes pumps, valves and filtration systems – into a separate company. Both companies will be led by current SPX chairman and chief executive Chris Kearney and will maintain their headquarters in Ballantyne.

Charlotte's Crescent sells apartment complexes in $700M deal

October 30, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte-based Crescent Communities will sell nine apartment complexes comprising 2,667 residential units for close to $700 million. Charlotte's Crescent SouthPark will be sold to UBS Global Asset Management and Crescent Dilworth will be sold to an unnamed institutional buyer. Other complexes included in the sale are in Durham, Raleigh, Atlanta, Tampa, Fla., and Orlando, Fla.

Charlotte area unemployment rate falls to 6.2%

October 30, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill area's unemployment rate fell in September to its lowest level since May 2008, according to the latest government statistics.

Battery-maker bringing 500 jobs to Concord

October 29, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Alevo Group plans to hire about 500 workers by the end of 2015 at the former Philip Morris cigarette plant in Concord. Earlier this year, the Swiss company paid $68.5 million to purchase the 2,000-acre campus where it will make lithium-ion batteries for power companies. The company expects to hire up to 2,500 people over three years. 

Charlotte mulls incentives for Synchrony Financial

October 29, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte City Council is considering incentives for Synchrony Financial to expand its presence in the Queen City. The financial-services company, a spinoff of GE, could add 125 management jobs with an average annual salary of $125,000 and 275 call-center jobs with an average salary of $27,000.

Father-son duo accused of stealing $11 million from clients

October 29, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The operators of a Cornelius-based payroll-services company were indicted on charges of stealing at least $11 million from 113 clients. William James Staz, 72 and son James William Staz, 43, used money they embezzled from Employee Services Net to buy a luxury home and a $120,000 Mercedes Benz and on strip-club entertainment and jewelry purchases.

Chiquita's new owners must repay incentives if jobs move out of NC

October 28, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Two Brazilian companies will purchase Chiquita Brands International for $680 million in cash, and the N.C. Economic Development board said Cutrale and Safra Group would be required to pay back state and local incentive money if they move jobs out of North Carolina. Chiquita was awarded $22 million in 2011 to move its headquarters from Cincinnati to Charlotte.
Related: Brazilian companies to buy Chiquita

Gordon Food Service bringing 275 jobs to Cabarrus County

October 27, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Gordon Food Service will invest $58 million in a new Kannapolis distribution center and plans to create 275 jobs over five years. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company distributes food products to restaurants, schools and health-care companies throughout the Eastern U.S. and Canada.

Battery maker plans major jobs announcement

October 28, 2014

(WRAL.com)

Startup battery manufacturer Alevo Group is expected to announce plans today for the former Philip Morris USA cigarette plant in Concord. The company said it plans to hire 500 workers in 2015 and, if sales take off, 2,500 or more within three years. Alevo will make utility-scale batteries for power companies and grid operators.

Family Dollar shareholders to vote on Dollar Tree deal Dec. 11

October 28, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Matthews-based Family Dollar Stores will hold a shareholder vote on its planned $8.5 billion sale to Chesapeake, Va.-based Dollar Tree on Dec. 11. Family Dollar's board rejected a $9.1 billion offer from Tennessee-based rival Dollar General.

Charlotte Hornets second in the NBA in season-ticket sales

October 27, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The newly rebranded Charlotte Hornets trail only one NBA team – the Cleveland Cavaliers – in full-season ticket sales. The Hornets, which begin regular season play on Wednesday, also beat their own record for season ticket sales – counting partial plans and renewals, the team has sold the equivalent of 10,000 season tickets.

Chiquita shareholders reject Fyffes merger

October 27, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Analysts say Chiquita Brands International is almost certain to accept a buyout offer from privately-owned Brazilian companies Cutrale and Safra Group after Chiquita shareholders on Friday rejected a planned merger with Dublin-based Fyffes. Lured by almost $23 million in state and local incentives, Chiquita relocated from Cincinnati to Charlotte in 2011.

Retiring Wells Fargo exec reflects on time in Charlotte

October 27, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Laura Schulte, who oversees about 2,700 branches as president of Wells Fargo's Eastern U.S. community-banking operations and will retire by year-end, says Charlotte must continue diversifying its economy beyond banking and should take a regional approach to growth. 

Mesa Airlines leaving Charlotte Douglas airport

October 24, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Mesa Airlines informed the N.C. Department of Commerce it will discontinue operations a Charlotte Douglas International Airport, eliminating 631 jobs. Most affected employees have accepted company jobs outside of Charlotte. The shutdown is due to US Airways' decision to move Mesa's contract operations to another location.

Brazilian companies increase offer ahead of Chiquita merger vote

October 24, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Two Brazilian companies increased their buyout offer from $14 a share to $14.50 a share Thursday in a last-minute effort to convince shareholders of Chiquita Brands International to choose its offer over that of Irish produce company Fyffes. Chiquita shareholders will vote at 9 a.m. Friday on the proposed merger.

Sears closing Gastonia store

October 24, 2014

(The Gaston Gazette)

Sears Holding Co. will close its store and auto center at Gastonia's Eastridge Mall in December. The store's 65 employees can apply for positions at other Sears and Kmart stores, a company spokesman said.

Triad

Ruger profits down 76% due to decreased demand for firearms

October 31, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Southport, Conn.-based Sturm, Ruger & Co. reported a 76.3% decrease in net income in the third quarter due to a sharp drop in firearms sales. The gun-maker plans to create 473 jobs at its Mayodan plant, though decreasing demand for its products could force it to scale back expansion plans.

 

Heritage Home Group shifting production jobs to Lenoir

October 31, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Heritage Home Group will move operations from a leased production plant in Hickory to a company-owned plant in Lenoir. All 255 employees at the Hickory plant will be offered jobs at the Lenoir plant. 

Cone Health ranks highest in patient safety among Triad's large hospitals

October 29, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Greensboro's Cone Health is the top-ranked large hospital in the Triad when it comes to patient safety, according to the Leapfrog Group's latest semiannual report. The Moses Cone Hospital received an A grade, while Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center received B grades. Leapfrog reviews 28 measures of patient safety when compiling its report.

La-Z-Boy to close division office in High Point

October 29, 2014

(High Point Enterprise)

La-Z-Boy will close its High Point office as a result of a corporate restructuring of its casegoods business. Some of the furniture manufacturer's 38 employees in High Point will be offered positions at the company's Hudson plant.

Triad region must adapt to changes in manufacturing industry

October 29, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

A recent White House report highlights some of the Triad region's struggles to maintain and grow its manufacturing workforce, including encouraging young people to pursue careers in the industry.

Drone maker seeks millions from Winston-Salem

October 28, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Drone maker Olaeris has asked Winston-Salem to provide more than $5 million over five years to bring its company and about 150 jobs to Smith Reynolds Airport. Olaeris, which plans to market its unmanned aircraft to law enforcement groups and first responders, has asked the state to invest $6 million. Chief executive Ted Lindsley says he is in talks with local governments in two other states.
Related: Will North Carolina be the first in unmanned flight? ("Pie in the sky," September)

Reynolds American may sell Doral in tobacco merger

October 28, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Reynolds American may have to include its Doral cigarette brand as part of its divestiture to Imperial Tobacco Group in order to receive Federal Trade Commission approval for its proposed acquisition of Greensboro-based Lorillard. Winston-Salem-based Reynolds has already agreed to sell Kool, Salem and Winston brands as well as Lorillard's blu eCigs electronic-cigarette brand.

Industry report shows furniture manufacturing returning to US

October 27, 2014

(High Point Enterprise)

A new report shows that offshoring is losing its appeal with American manufacturers as labor costs rise in Asia. Other reasons manufacturers are bringing jobs back the U.S. include access to skilled labor, lower transportation costs and ease of the business environment. The report notes that Mexico – which has lower manufacturing costs than China – is continuing to emerge as an industry leader.

Herbalife exec says company will be exonerated

October 27, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The CFO of Los Angeles-based Herbalife says he believes the company will be exonerated of accusations by hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman that it operates as a pyramid scheme. The company, which sells nutritional and weight-loss products, has hired about 300 employees at its new Winston-Salem manufacturing plant, where it eventually plans to employ 493 people.

Thomas Built Buses adding 236 jobs in High Point

October 24, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Thomas Built Buses confirmed Thursday it will add 236 jobs and invest $11.8 million in an expansion of its High Point plant, where it currently employs about 1,400 full- and part-time workers. The company will receive $372,098 in local incentives – it didn't request state incentives for the expansion.

TIMCO changes name to Haeco

October 24, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Greensboro's TIMCO Aviation is now called Haeco. Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co. paid $338.8 million for TIMCO in 2013 and now operates its worldwide companies under the Haeco Group name. The company maintains and repairs jet airplanes and employs about 1,800 in the Triad.

Reynolds American to ban smoking in the workplace

October 23, 2014

(WRAL.com)

Beginning next year, Reynolds American will no longer allow employees to smoke cigarettes, cigars or pipes in offices and other common areas. The Winston-Salem-based cigarette maker will add indoor smoking areas for those who want to light up. The company will allow the use of electronic cigarettes and other smokeless tobacco products.

Wake Forest to end traditional MBA program

October 23, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Wake Forest School of Business is discontinuing its traditional MBA program to focus exclusively on its program for working professionals, which has experienced double-digit growth in the last five years. The program offers evening and weekend classes at campuses in Charlotte and Winston-Salem.

Imperial confirms new company formed in tobacco merger will be based in Greensboro

October 23, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

The new company formed after Imperial Tobacco Group acquires several cigarette brands from Lorillard and Reynolds American as part of the companies' merger deal will be headquartered in Greensboro, the British company confirmed Tuesday.

UNCG chancellor announces retirement

October 22, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

UNC Greensboro Chancellor Linda Brady will retire July 31, 2015. She plans to take a sabbatical and then return as a faculty member in 2016.

Honda Aircraft begins $19M expansion at Piedmont Triad airport

October 21, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

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

Lorillard CEO could get $44M payout after tobacco merger

October 21, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

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

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

October 20, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

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

Ashley Furniture unveils Davie County furniture factory

October 20, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

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

High Point Market continues through Thursday

October 20, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

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

Triangle

Blue Cross Blue Shield sends 42,000 incorrect renewal notices

October 31, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state's largest health insurer mailed out about 42,000 policy renewal letters with incorrect rates. Some Blue Cross Blue Shield customers received notices showing cost increases of more than 100%. A company spokeswoman said the mistake was due to "good old classic human error."

Lenovo completes acquisition of Motorola smartphone business

October 31, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Lenovo is now the world's No. 3 smartphone company after completing its $2.91 billion acquistion of Google-owned Motorola Mobility. Chicago-based Motorola will operate as a subsidiary of Beijing-based Lenovo, which has its North American headquarters in Morrisville.

Chimerix plans secondary stock offering

October 31, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Chimerix looks to raise $105 million in a public stock offering. The Durham-based drug developer raised $118 in its initial public offering in April 2013. The company plans to use about $52 million of the proceeds to finance clinical trials for brincidofovir, an antiviral drug being tested as a treatment for viruses including Ebola and small pox.

Judges sentences Triangle brokers, developers in $44M fraud scheme

October 30, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

A federal judge sentenced seven Triangle real-estate professionals and one from New Jersey for their involvement in a $44 million mortgage fraud scheme that ran from 2003 to 2009. The group, which includes developers, brokers and a lawyer, purchased and developed properties for quick resale and recruited "straw buyers" to obtain mortgage loans they could not afford to repay.

Roy Williams defends ethics at media event

October 30, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

UNC basketball coach Roy Williams said Wednesday if the university fires him, it will be because he didn't win games and not because of the academic scandal that included 167 basketball players enrolled in no-show classes since Williams arrived at the university in 2003. According to the Wainstein report released last week, Wayne Walden, the men's basketball academic counselor who enrolled players in the classes, said he never shared his concerns about the classes with Williams.

Raleigh's INC Research looks to raise $135M in public offering

October 29, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based INC Research is looking to raise $135 million in an initial public offering, according to a securities filing. The contract-research organization plans to sell 8.1 million shares at $17 to $20 a per share and will use the proceeds to pay down some of its $588 million in debt. INC employs about 5,500 people worldwide, including more than 850 in Raleigh.

Syngenta faces lawsuits over exporting modified corn

October 28, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Food exporters who claim to have lost millions because they aren't allowed to ship Syngenta's genetically modified, insect-resistant corn to China have filed lawsuits against the agribusiness, which has its global headquarters for biotech research in Research Triangle Park. 

Novartis sells Holly Springs vaccine plant

October 27, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Novartis will sell its vaccines business, including its production plant in Holly Springs, to Australia-based CSL in a deal valued at $275 million. Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis received more than $40 million in state and local incentives to build the plant, which opened five years ago and employs 550 people.

Heavner's University Directories files for bankruptcy

October 27, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Chapel Hill-based publisher University Directories has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Owner James Heavner says his company is trying to avoid a hostile takeover by Greg Lindberg, president of Durham-based Eli Global. Meanwhile, another of Lindberg's companies has filed a lawsuit against University Directories and Heavner's other businesses over financial mismanagement.

UNC scandal ranks among the worst

October 27, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The 18-year scheme that kept athletes at UNC Chapel Hill in classes they weren't required to attend ranks among the worst academic scandals, according to some sports-law experts. About half of the 3,100 students involved in the no-show classes were athletes.

SAS ranks No. 2 on global list of best places to work

October 24, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Cary-based SAS Institute was ranked No. 2 on the Great Place to Work Institute's list of best global workplaces, behind Mountain View, Calif.-based Google for the second year in a row.

Frontier bringing gigabit Internet to some Triangle locations

October 24, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Frontier Communications will offer the first gigabit Internet service that is up to 100 times faster than cable at some locations in Durham and Research Triangle Park, but prices are not cheap. Residents will pay $219 a month for one-gigabit service but there's no installation fee or contract required.

Biotech center issues almost $900,000 in loans, grants

October 24, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center issued $885,586 in grants and loans in the first quarter. Chapel Hill-based Novocor Medical Systems and KinoDyn each received $250,000 loans, as did Winston-Salem-based KeraNetics. The state restored $1 million in funding to the nonprofit center for the 2014-15 fiscal year 

Report reveals 18 years of academic fraud at UNC Chapel Hill

October 23, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

An investigation into academic fraud at UNC Chapel Hill revealed an 18-year scheme based on a system of no-show classes for student athletes. Following the report's release, Chancellor Carol Folt said four university employees will be terminated and another five will face disciplinary action.

Blue Cross says ACA rates to rise by 13%

October 23, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina said health insurance rates for plans under the Affordable Care Act will increase by an average of 13.5% next year. The state's largest health insurer covers 258,000 people under the federal health-care law.

Raleigh's TrustAtlantic Bank to be acquired for $80 million

October 23, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

First Tennessee Bank will acquire Raleigh-based TrustAtlantic Bank for $80 million. Memphis-based First Tennessee has more than 180 branches, most in Tennessee, and opened its first Raleigh branch last year. TrustAtlantic has five branches in the Triangle and Greenville and had assets of $453 million as of Sept. 30.

Report reveals 18 years of academic fraud at UNC Chapel Hill

October 23, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

An investigation into academic fraud at UNC Chapel Hill revealed an 18-year scheme based on a system of no-show classes for student athletes. Following the report's release, Chancellor Carol Folt said four university employees will be terminated and another five will face disciplinary action.

SAS's Goodnight foresees continued growth in Cary

October 22, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

SAS co-founder and CEO Jim Goodnight says he expects the company to add about 600 workers at its Triangle headquarters over the next three years. The business-analytics software company has added nearly 200 workers a year for the past five years. SAS unveiled a new 220,000-square-foot building on its Cary campus Tuesday morning.

Bluegrass festival sets attendance record in Raleigh

October 22, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

More than 180,000 people attended this month's World of Bluegrass festival in downtown Raleigh, making it the largest event downtown Raleigh has ever hosted. The local convention and visitors bureau estimates $10.8 million in direct visitor spending.

Cree to launch cheaper LED lightbulb

October 22, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Durham-based Cree plans to unveil a new LED light bulb that will be cheaper and will look more like a traditional light bulb. Cree's current generation of LED bulbs are sold exclusively at Home Depot stores.

Eastern

Harnett Health trustees approve management agreement with Fayetteville's Cape Fear Valley

October 31, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The Harnett Health board of trustees has decided to enter into a management agreement with Cape Fear Valley Health System. The Fayetteville-based health system could assume management of Dunn-based Harnett Health and its two hospitals by next week. Dan Weatherly, president of Cape Fear Valley Bladen Health, will become president of Harnett Health.

Cape Fear Valley Health approves management takeover of Harnett Health

October 30, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

The Cape Fear Valley Health board of trustees approved a 10-year management agreement of Harnett Health System. Harnett Health board members will vote today on whether to approve the management takeover. The Dunn-based health system has been managed by Raleigh-based WakeMed Health and Hospitals since 2005.

Wilmington startup honored at WSJ event

October 30, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Wilmington-based Next Glass was chosen as one of five startups to present at a Wall Street Journal technology conference in California this week. The company is launching an app to help users create personalized wine and beer preference profiles.

Brunswick County hopes new industry will fill void left by DAK closure

October 30, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

As the former DAK Americas manufacturing plant is dismantled, Brunswick County officials say they need to keep working to attract new industry to the area. The Charlotte-based company closed the plant last fall, idling 600 workers. 

Foxx tours Kinston's Global TransPark

October 30, 2014

(Kinston Free Press)

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx toured the N.C. Global TransPark in Kinston on Tuesday, visiting with local students and park tenant Spirit Aerosystems.

Cape Fear Valley Health could vote tonight on deal with Harnett Health

October 29, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Fayetteville-based Cape Fear Valley Health System trustees could vote tonight on entering a management agreement with Harnett Health System. Trustees discussed a potential partnership during a closed session two weeks ago. Dunn-based Harnett Health has suffered financially since opening the $56 million Central Harnett Hospital last year.

Triathlon training center planned in Pender County

October 29, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

TriHabitat will open a triathlon training venue on more than 1,000 acres along the Cape Fear River in Pender County. The venue will contain a 25-acre man-made lake, a 14-mile paved bike loop, five stadiums and a lodge and conference center and is expected to open in 2016.

GE Hitachi lands $300 million nuclear services contract

October 29, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

GE Hitachi was awarded a maintenance and fuel contract totaling nearly $300 million from Chicago-based Exelon Generation. The contract runs through spring 2018. Parent company GE received a $500 million order for gas turbines from Exelon less than a month ago. GE Hitachi is located in Castle Hayne in New Hanover County.

Piedmont Natural Gas receives regulatory approval for pipeline

October 28, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

State regulators approved Piedmont Natural Gas's participation in the 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which will transport gas from Marcellus shale basins in West Virginia and Pennsylvania through Virginia and Eastern N.C. The approval allows Piedmont, Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Resources, Charlotte-based Duke Energy and Atlanta-based AGL Resources to begin the filing process for federal approval of the pipeline.

Harnett Health CEO resigns amid layoffs

October 27, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Ken Bryan resigned as CEO of Harnett Health on Friday, and the troubled health system laid off an unspecified number of workers. The system lost more than $24 million in the year ended September 2013, according to tax records. Harnett Health's hospitals in Dunn and Lillington are managed by Raleigh-based WakeMed Health and Hospitals.

Beaufort tops Travel + Leisure list of favorite towns

October 27, 2014

(Carteret County News-Times)

Beaufort tops Travel + Leisure's 2014 list of America's favorite small towns – those with fewer than 50,000 residents – selected by the magazine's readers. The coastal town improved from No. 4 in 2013 and bested well-known towns including Aspen, Colo., and Myrtle Beach, S.C. 

Kinston brewery celebrates five-year anniversary

October 27, 2014

(The Free Press, Kinston)

Hundreds of people visited Kinston on Saturday to celebrate Mother Earth Brewing Co.'s five-year anniversary. The company also began selling gin and whiskey Saturday.
Read about Kinston's up-and-coming restaurant scene in "Recipe for Recovery" from Business NC's October issue

Wilmington earns top spot on USA Today's list of best riverfront cities

October 23, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Wilmington won USA Today's 10Best Reader's Choice contest for Best American Riverfront, edging out No. 2 Spokane, Washington. 

Bald Head Island gets permit to build terminal groin

October 23, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The N.C. Division of Coastal Management issued a permit that will allow Bald Head Island to construct a terminal groin to prevent erosion. Ocean Isle Beach, Holden Beach and Figure Eight Island are also seeking permission to build erosion-control structures.

Court of Appeals rules in favor of FirstHealth in fight over beds

October 22, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

A three-judge panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower-court ruling that will add 28 hospital beds at FirstHealth of the Carolinas' new Hoke County campus instead of at competitor Cape Fear Valley Health System's hospital in Fayetteville.

N.C. Supreme Court to hear Hofmann Forest case

October 20, 2014

(The Daily News, Jacksonville)

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

Revitalization underway in Wilmington's Brooklyn neighborhood

October 20, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

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

St. James residents seek removal of planning board member

October 17, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

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

Butterball might be interested in House of Raeford plant

October 15, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

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

Interest declines for Wilmington film industry

October 15, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

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