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Western

Restructuring leads to 130 job cuts at Mission Health

September 29, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Mitchell County wood-stove manufacturer expands product lines

September 29, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Cider makers seek to change industry regulation

September 26, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Apartment growth surges in South Asheville

September 25, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Brevard brewery fuels growth for Oskar Blues

September 19, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

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

Noble Cider expanding, moving to West Asheville

September 18, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Asheville river district could receive millions more

September 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

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

September 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

About 600 turn out for final fracking meeting

September 15, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Buncombe likely to provide incentives for Wicked Weed expansion

September 12, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Equestrian center brings challenges, benefits to Polk County

September 11, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

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

Asheville breweries expand to keep up with demand

September 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

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

Final fracking hearing expected to draw more than 500

September 10, 2014

(The Sylva Herald)

Environmental-protection groups predict more than 500 people will attend North Carolina's final public hearing on fracking at Western Carolina University, even though legislators announced last week the state Geological Survey won't test for natural-gas deposits in Western N.C.

Asheville gets $14.6 million federal redevelopment grant

September 10, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The City of Asheville will receive $14.6 million in federal grant money to help redevelop the River Arts District and other communities.

Operator of Pisgah Inn gets 10-year contract extension

September 9, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Bruce O'Connell has won a contract to operate the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway until 2025. O'Connell made national headlines when he defiantly kept the 51-room inn open during the federal government shutdown last October. He plans upgrades to the inn's restaurant and gift shops.

Buncombe could lose hundreds of potential jobs if state doesn't act

September 8, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Buncombe County commissioners have approved local incentives for two companies that would bring a total of 450 jobs to the region, but those jobs could be in jeopardy if the state doesn't pass legislation to expand economic-development incentives.

Judge sends three to prison in 'Black Diamond' fraud case

September 5, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A federal judge sentenced three hedge-fund managers to prison for their involvement in the "Black Diamond" Ponzi scheme (cover story, August 2012) that bilked 400 people, including many from Western N.C., out of $40 million. 

UNC Asheville waits for new chancellor to develop property

September 3, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

UNC Asheville officials say they will hold off on developing plans for 22 acres of recently acquired property near its campus until incoming Chancellor Mary Grant assumes her position in January. 

Asheville called quirkiest town in the U.S.

September 2, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Readers of Travel + Leisure magazine named Asheville the quirkiest town in the U.S., citing Friday-night drum circles at Pritchard Park, Vortex Doughnuts' local beer-of-the-day doughnuts and unique dining experiences.

NC Apple Festival kicks off today in Hendersonville

August 29, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Organizers hope cheaper gas prices will allow visitors to spend more at this weekend's annual Apple Festival. Festivalgoers spent more than $12 million on dining, retail and lodging in Henderson County during last year's four-day event.

Charlotte

Monroe airport prepares for international flights

September 30, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The Charlotte-Monroe Executive Airport in Union County will become the first general aviation airport in the Carolinas to add a U.S. Customs and Border Protection service, allowing international flights to land there. The service will debut as early as mid-November.

Murdock to announce "gift in perpetuity" to research institute

September 30, 2014

(The Salisbury Post)

David Murdock, chairman and CEO of Dole Food Co., will announce an ongoing gift to the Kannapolis research institute he founded. Murdock has invested more than $800 million in the North Carolina Research Campus he established in 2005, which is home to the the David H. Murdock Research Institute and about 20 academic, technology and health-care organizations.

BofA fined $7.6 million for overstating capital ratios

September 30, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Bank of America will pay a $7.65 million penalty over its miscalculation of capital ratios in a securities filing earlier this year. The Charlotte-based bank said the accounting errors stemmed from its 2009 acquisition of Merrill Lynch.

Family Dollar: States plan to investigate Dollar General deal

September 30, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Family Dollar says several state attorneys general have told the Matthews-based retailer they will investigate a potential merger with Dollar General over effects the combined company would have on competition.

FAA says Charlotte must ask it to transfer control of airport

September 30, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a letter it hasn't weighed in on the issue of who should control Charlotte Douglas International Airport because the city has not asked it to do so. The state General Assembly last year passed a bill transferring control of the airport to a regional commission, but Charlotte City Council won a temporary injunction that blocks the commission from running the airport.

Chiquita raises value for shareholders in proposed Fyffes merger

September 29, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte-based Chiquita Brands International and Irish produce company Fyffes revised the terms of their merger agreement to try to win shareholder support. Shareholders will now receive almost 60% of the combined company's stock, up from just over 50% according to the previous agreement.

Gastonia-based Parkdale Mills buys textile plant in Mexico

September 29, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Parkdale Mills is now the sole owner of Summit Yarns, a textile plant in Mexico. The Gastonia-based yarn manufacturer bought half of the operation in 1997; Greensboro-based International Textile Group owned the other half. The plant will continue to supply ITG's Cone Denim plant in Mexico. Parkdale employs more than 4,200 in the U.S., including 400 in Gaston County.

Charlotte nursing school to close in 2016

September 29, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Mercy Hospital School of Nursing will close after its current students graduate in 2016. The school was acquired by Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare System when it bought the Mercy Hospital and Mercy Hospital South from Belmont-based Sisters of Mercy in 1995. CHS operates two other nursing schools in the Charlotte area. 

CLT sells off DesignLine shuttle buses

September 26, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Charlotte Douglas International Airport auctioned off its 10 shuttle buses made by troubled bus manufacturer DesignLine. Maintenance problems and a scarcity of replacement parts made the buses expensive to operate. The local company's assets were sold out of bankruptcy last year to California-based EPV Corp., but the new company has struggled to attract customers.

Curtiss-Wright announces stock buy-back

September 26, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Curtiss-Wright Corp. announced it will buy back $300 million of its stock beginning in January. The manufacturer of aerospace and industrial equipment moved its headquarters from New Jersey to Charlotte in January.

Siemens to provide CPCC with $32 million in software

September 25, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Siemens will donate software valued at $32 million to Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte to train students enrolled in advanced-manufacturing courses. The company's product lifecycle management software is used by thousands of companies worldwide, including more than 120 in North Carolina. The German engineering company employs about 1,600 in Charlotte.

Charlotte delays plans for amateur sports complex

September 25, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Florida-based GoodSports Enterprises Global has been unable to secure financing for a proposed amateur-sports complex near Bojangles' Coliseum in east Charlotte. The latest project plan called for the city to contribute $25 million towards the project, which would include a 150-room hotel and field house.

NY tech company moves headquarters to Charlotte

September 25, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Velocity Technology Solutions will relocate next month from New York City to Charlotte, where it will initially employ 50 people. The cloud-computing company expects to expand its employment to more than 200 over the next few years.

Federal judges coming to Charlotte for hearing on NC voting law

September 25, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A three-judge panel from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. will meet in Charlotte Thursday to decide whether North Carolina's new election law is discriminatory and should be put on hold for the Nov. 4 election. Critics say the law discriminates against African-Americans and Latinos by making it harder for them to vote. 

Foxx says local leaders should resolve Charlotte airport situation

September 24, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

In his first public comments on the issue, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx called the debate over who should run Charlotte Douglas International Airport "an unnecessary mess" and said it would be best if the issue was resolved locally. The former Charlotte mayor gave no timeline for when the FAA might decide whether a state-appointed commission can assume control of the airport (cover story, September 2013).

Charlotte ranked No. 1 Big-City Bargain

September 24, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Money magazine ranked Charlotte first in the Best Big-City Bargain category of its 2014 Best Places to Live rankings. Criteria included affordability of housing, economic strength and other livability data. Phoenix, Fort Worth, Texas, Boston and Chicago completed the top five. On its overall best places to live list, Cary and Chapel Hill ranked 19th and 36th, respectively. 

Duke Energy part of $8 billion wind project in Western U.S.

September 24, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A company co-owned by Charlotte-based Duke Energy is part of an $8 billion proposed wind-energy project that would generate twice as much electricity as the Hoover Dam. Duke-American Transmission Co. is among four companies partnering on the project, which would store energy generated in Wyoming and later sell it to the city of Los Angeles.

BofA ranks first in consumer deposits; BB&T at No. 13

September 24, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp. ranked first in the nation in total consumer deposits with $455.3 billion, according to a second-quarter report by SNL Financial. Wells Fargo & Co. ranked second with deposits totaling $405.4 billion, while Winston-Salem-based BB&T Corp. came in at No. 13 with $45.7 billion.

Pest-control product maker to hire 380 in Mooresville

September 23, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Earth-Kind Inc. will invest $5.8 million and plans to create 380 jobs over four years at a plant in Mooresville. The Bismarck, N.D.-based company makes non-toxic pest control products, and counts John Deere, Tractor Supply and ACE Hardware among its customers. 

Siemens to buy Houston energy-services company for $7.6 billion

September 23, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Europe's largest engineering company, which employs about 1,600 in Charlotte, will buy a Houston-based oil-services company for $7.6 billion. Dresser-Rand makes equipment for the oil- and gas-industry, including for hydraulic fracturing. Munich-based Siemens also plans to move the headquarters of its energy businesses to the U.S.

Triad

Cone Health announces $100 million plan for new projects

September 29, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Cone Health will spend $100 million to relocate its Women's Hospital to a new 50,000-square-foot addition at its main Greensboro campus and build a new Behavioral Health Hospital. Both projects are expected to be completed by 2019. 

 

Wall promoted to senior VP at NewBridge Bank

September 30, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Greensboro-based NewBridge Bank named Trent Wall senior vice president. A commercial loan officer with 10 years of experience, Wall will be in charge of business development for the Winston-Salem area.

Company could create 40 jobs in Mocksville

September 29, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

A public hearing will be held Oct. 6 to consider incentives for an unidentified global production company that could create 40 jobs in Mocksville. The company would invest at least $8.2 million and could create an additional 20 jobs at a 108,000-square-foot building that could be expanded to 150,000 square feet.

 

Sheetz to open $32 million Burlington distribution center

September 26, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Sheetz is preparing to open a $32.8 million, 250,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center in Burlington to serve about 150 of its convenience stores in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. A ribbon-cutting is scheduled for Nov. 12. 

UNC board to announce WSSU chancellor on Friday

September 26, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Following a four-month search, the UNC Board of Governors is expected to name a new chancellor at Winston-Salem State University on Friday.

RF Micro headquarters to stay in Greensboro after merger

September 25, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

RF Micro Devices confirmed it will maintain its Greensboro headquarters after the chip-maker's upcoming merger with Hillsboro, Ore.-baesd TriQuint Semiconductor. The new holding company for the two companies will be called Qorvo and will be valued at about $2 billion. 

Duke Energy will grant $2 million for water-improvement on Dan River

September 25, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Duke Energy will provide at least $2 million for conservation efforts and water-quality improvement along the Dan River, the site of the Charlotte-based utility's February coal-ash spill (cover story, April)

Novant to build medical office in Guilford County

September 24, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Novant Health will build a 6,200-square-foot medical office in High Point to support its 50-bed Kernersville Medical Center. The Winston-Salem-based health system expects to break ground on the site by early November and the center should open in 2015.

Former Wells Fargo employee files complaint over Wachovia acquisition

September 24, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

A former Wells Fargo & Co. employee says in a complaint filed Monday that the San Francisco-based bank broke federal regulatory laws in its 2008 acquisition of Wachovia Corp. George Hartzman of Greensboro filed a lawsuit in 2013 seeking $31.1 million in damages. Two previous shareholders lawsuits were dismissed by a North Carolina Business Court judge in 2011.

PepsiCo exec to become president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco

September 22, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Reynolds-American named Debra Crew president of subsidiary R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. effective Oct. 1. Crew comes from PepsiCo, where she has held various executive leadership roles. She replaces Andrew Gilchrist, who will become an executive vice president with the parent company. 

Duke Energy identifies five properties for site-readiness program

September 22, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Duke Energy has chosen five central N.C. locations for its site-readiness program. Properties selected for the program, which the utility will help market for corporate expansions and relocations, include a 320-acre tract in Guildford County and a 1,470-acre site in Chatham County, which economic developers have touted as a potential "megasite" for an auto manufacturer. Other sites include ones in Lincoln, Rowan and Vance counties.

VF Corp. hires leader for jeanswear research center

September 19, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

VF Corp. has tapped Sudhakar Puvvada to lead its Global Jeanswear Innovation Center at a yet-to-be-determined location in Greensboro. Puvvada comes from Kentucky-based chemical company Ashland Inc., where he was vice president for technology platforms, and worked in product development for 14 years at Unilever.

Three health care systems form shared-services company

September 18, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Winston-Salem-based Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Raleigh-based WakeMed and Greenville-based Vidant Health are forming a new partnership to lower supply chain costs and share certain IT infrastructure and clinical protocols. The three hospital systems will continue to operate independently after the formation of the new shared-services company, which has yet to be named.

High Point furniture company committed to keeping local jobs

September 18, 2014

(High Point Enterprise)

Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman, which employs 85 at its high-end furniture manufacturing plant in High Point, remains committed to keeping manufacturing jobs here rather than following the industry trend of moving production overseas.

Cone Health cuts Medicare readmissions

September 18, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Readmissions of Medicare patients have fallen at Cone Health, saving the Greensboro-based hospital system $21 million over 18 months. The Affordable Care Act began in 2012 requiring hospitals to cut Medicare readmissions or pay a penalty.

Tobacco farmers face end of buyout program

September 17, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The last checks from the tobacco buyout program will be distributed to about 425,000 farmers and landowners in October. Though many tobacco growers have gotten out of the business, those who remain are thriving due in part to a strong export market.

Judge approves bankruptcy plan for Mocksville tobacco companies

September 15, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved a liquidation plan for three Mocksville tobacco companies. Renegade Holdings Inc., Renegade Tobacco Co. and Alternative Brands Inc. entered bankruptcy protection in January 2009. Former owner Calvin Phelps began serving a three-year prison term in May after pleading guilty to charges related to avoiding federal surcharges on cigarette sales. 

Florida court throws out hundreds of tobacco lawsuits

September 12, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

A Florida appeals court has thrown out 750 Engle lawsuits against U.S. tobacco companies, nearly 10% of the the 8,000 cases pending in Florida courts. The Engle cases originated from a 2006 class-action lawsuit that was decertified, allowing for class members to file individual lawsuits for cigarette-related illnesses.

Wilmington's Atlantic Corp. to buy Greensboro paperboard plant

September 11, 2014

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Memphis, Tenn.-based International Paper will sell its Greensboro paper- and packaging-plant, along with locations in Hazelton, Pa. and Sturgis, Mich., to Wilmington-based Atlantic Corp. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Third executive named in ZeekRewards case

September 11, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

The receiver in the ZeekRewards.com case will seek to recover $2.27 million from Darryle Douglas of Huntington Beach, Calif. Douglas received the money from the Lexington-based Ponzi scheme, which was shut down in 2012.

Triangle

Announcement planned for Durham redevelopment project

September 30, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Developers will unveil plans for the "Durham Innovation District" on Wednesday, a downtown project with 1.7 million square feet of office space plus apartments and retail. The project, which will have an emphasis on life-science companies, is led by Boston-based Longfellow Real Estate Partners and Hank Scherich, founder and president of Durham-based Measurement Inc.

Allergan shareholders urge board to delay decision on Salix acquistion

September 30, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Two of Allergan's largest shareholders sent letters to the company's board advising them against making a deal to acquire Raleigh-based Salix Pharmaceuticals before a Dec. 18 shareholder meeting. The Irvine, Calif.-based company is said to be pursuing the Salix acquisition to fend off a hostile takeover by Canada-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

Lenovo to complete acquisition of IBM server unit Wednesday

September 29, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

About 2,000 Triangle IBM workers will be become Lenovo employees when the computer-maker completes its $2.1 billion acquisition of IBM's low-end server unit on Wednesday. Beijing-based Lenovo, which has its North American headquarters in Morrisville, will move from No. 9 to No. 3 among server manufacturers, behind only Hewlett Packard Co. and Dell Inc. 

Four Oaks Bank names new chief operating officer

September 29, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Four Oaks Bank promoted David Rupp to executive vice president and chief operating officer following the retirement of Clifton Painter. Rupp was senior vice president and strategic project manager at the Johnston County bank since June. Painter, who joined the bank in 1986, will serve as a consultant over the next two years. 

NC's oldest printing companies join together

September 29, 2014

(New Bern Sun Journal)

AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh acquired Commerical Printing Co., a Raleigh-based printing company founded in 1884. AlphaGraphics, now a national franchise and owned by the Andrews family of New Bern for five generations, began as Owen G. Dunn Printing in 1902. Terms were not disclosed. 

LabCorp to buy Raleigh-based LipoScience for $85.3 million

September 26, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

LipoScience, a Raleigh-based medical diagnostics company, will be acquired by its largest customer for $85.3 million. Burlington-based LabCorp accounts for about 35% of sales of the company's testing products. LipoScience went public in January 2013 at $9 a share, but hasn't traded above $5.25 a share in the past year.

First Citizens announces board changes

September 25, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Three directors from South Carolina-based First Citizens Bank and Trust will join the board of First Citizens Bank when the two banks complete their $600 million merger next week. Ten members of the Raleigh-based bank's board will keep their positions, while two − H.M. Craig III and Ralph K. Shelton − will resign.

Cisco begins layoffs in RTP

September 24, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Cisco Systems has begun previously announced layoffs at its Research Triangle Park campus and across North America. The San Jose, Calif.-based tech company was awarded $12.9 million in state incentives to add 550 jobs at RTP by 2017. The company will be required to fill vacancies caused by the layoffs before it can count new hires toward the 550 total.

Salix stock rises amid reports of Allergan acquisition

September 24, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Shares of Salix Pharmaceuticals rose 5% in afternoon trading Tuesday amid reports the company is in talks with Allergan, the maker of Botox, about a possible acquisition. It's unknown how an acquisition by Allergan would affect Salix's planned merger with a subsidiary of Italy-based Cosmo Pharmaceuticals. Raleigh-based Salix, which makes drugs for gastrointestinal illnesses, has a market value of $10.7 billion.

VantageSouth branches convert to Yadkin Bank

September 23, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

All 41 branches of Raleigh-based VantageSouth Bank have been converted to Yadkin Bank as of Monday. The rebranding is the result of a July merger between VantageSouth Bancshares and Elkin-based Yadkin Financial, which created the largest community bank based in North Carolina, with about $4 billion in assets. 

New Jersey drug maker to pay $100M to settle Salix patent litigation

September 23, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based Salix Pharmaceuticals has reached a $100 million settlement with New Jersey-based Par Pharmaceutical in a patent lawsuit filed by Santarus, a San Diego-based drug maker acquired by Salix earlier this year, and the University of Missouri. 

Decker confident trip to Japan will bring jobs to NC

September 23, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Following a recent trip to Japan, N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker says she feels "very good" about the state's prospects for attracting an auto manufacturer. Earlier this year, North Carolina lost a Toyota plant to Texas, which has direct flights to Tokyo, despite offering more than double the amount of incentives. "I came back very motivated for us to get direct flights to Asia," Decker said after the 36-hour flight home.

IBM unveils new RTP data center

September 22, 2014

(WRAL.com)

IBM will unveil a 72,000-square-foot data center at its Research Triangle Park campus on Monday. The Armonk, N.Y.-based tech company operates 150 such centers worldwide and employs about 7,500 in RTP. 

Yadkin Bank to test smaller branches

September 22, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Yadkin Bank will open a 1,000-square-foot branch in Raleigh during the next year as a part of a pilot project aimed at cutting costs. The branch will be about one-third the average size of the Raleigh-based bank's branches and will employ two full-time employees and one part-time employee.

Durham's BioCryst receives additional funds for Ebola drug

September 22, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

BioCryst Pharmeceuticals announced it could receive another $4 million from the federal government for the development of a potential treatment for the Ebola virus, bringing the total value of its contract with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to $26.3 million.  

HCL Technologies adding 1,237 jobs in Cary

September 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

HCL America was awarded up to $19.6 million in state incentives to create 1,237 jobs in Cary over the next five years. The technology-services company has created 513 jobs since 2008, when it received a $5 million incentive. The company, a subsidiary of India-based HCL Technologies, chose North Carolina over New York, Arizona and Texas for the new jobs. 

Raleigh drone developer raises $10 million in funding

September 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Indiana-based drone developer PrecisionHawk has raised $10 million in venture capital funding, which will allow the company to double its work force of 45. The company's CEO and two vice presidents are based in Raleigh ("Pie in the sky," September). PrecisionHawk collects and analyzes data collected by sensors and software built into its unmanned aerial vehicles.

Red Hat to buy Irish software company for $82 million

September 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Raleigh-based Red Hat will acquire FeedHenry, a software company with offices in Ireland, England and Massachusetts, for $82.2 million. FeedHenry offers cloud-based mobile applications. The deal is expected to close in Red Hat's fiscal third quarter. 
Related: Red Hat earnings exceed Wall Street's expectations

Painter named managing partner of Plexus Capital

September 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Plexus Capital, an investment firm with offices in Charlotte and Raleigh, named Michael Painter managing partner. Painter, 40, is one of the firm's original co-founders and is based in Raleigh. He succeeds Bob Anders, who will remain a full-time partner.

Report: NC entrepreneurs raised $266 million in first half of 2014

September 17, 2014

(The News & Observer)

North Carolina startups raised $266 million during the first half of 2014 − up 31% from a year ago − according to a report from Triangle-based Council for Entrepreneurial Development. The entrepreneur support group included venture capital, angel investors and government and nonprofit grants in its calculations. 

Eastern

New hospital in Hoke County nears completion

September 30, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

A new 41-bed hospital is expected to open in Hoke County in February, and administrators are busy recruiting physicians, nurses and other hospital personnel. Hoke Healthcare is owned by Fayetteville-based Cape Fear Valley Health.

Canadian company to acquire Wilson forging operation, add 125 jobs

September 29, 2014

(The Wilson Times)

Canada-based Linamar Corp. will buy Carolina Forge Co. in Wilson and plans to invest $40 million in the automotive-components machining company. Linamar is eligible for more than $2.5 million in state and local incentives if it keeps its current 145 jobs and adds 125 more by the end of 2019. 

PPD to acquire remaining interest in Mass. biotech company

September 26, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

PPD will acquire remaining ownership interest in Waltham, Mass.-based X-Chem for an undisclosed amount. The Wilmington-based contract-research organization paid $15.5 million for 60% interest in the biotech company in 2010. PPD employs more than 13,000 worldwide, including about 3,000 in North Carolina.

Postal service moving 400 jobs from Fayetteville to Charlotte

September 25, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

More than 400 postal workers in Fayetteville will lose their jobs or be forced to relocate when the Postal Service moves operations at two local mail-processing centers to Charlotte. 

Tech company expected to bring 30 jobs to downtown Wilmington

September 25, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

A month after Wilmington-based Next Glass announced it was moving its offices downtown, another unidentified tech company is said to be in talks to bring 30 employees to the Murchison Building in Wilmington.

Wilmington in running for best riverfront city

September 24, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Wilmington is among 20 candidates for USA Today's Best American Riverfront cities. Readers can cast votes until Oct. 20.

Future uncertain for Sanderson Farms plant in Cumberland County

September 23, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

While Cumberland County commissioners remain divided over whether to offer Sanderson Farms incentives to build a $113 million chicken-processing plant, a company representative says other communities are interested in the project. It isn't clear if any of those communities are in North Carolina.

UNCW economist Hall announces retirement

September 23, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

William "Woody" Hall will retire at the end of the current academic year after 41 years at UNC Wilmington. Hall is the senior economist for UNCW's Swain Center for Business and Economic Services and has conducted research on the Wilmington-area economy for years.
Also: UNC Wilmington announces search committee for new chancellor

New Bern officials hope to redevelop century-old train depot

September 22, 2014

(Sun-Journal, New Bern)

About 1,200 people attended an open house at the shuttered Union Station train depot in New Bern on Sunday. Local officials hope to restore and redevelop the 103-year-old structure, which was abandoned in 1987, to include retail, restaurant and office space. 

NC solar projects awarded $55 million in federal funding

September 19, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $55.3 million in federal loan guarantees for 22 solar energy projects in North Carolina, including ones in Hertford, Columbus and Warren Counties.

Cary developer plans second Wilmington apartment project

September 19, 2014

(Greater Wilmington Business Journal)

Symphony Properties plans to build a 256-apartment complex on about 15 acres along Wilmington's Independence Blvd. The Cary-based company is also developing the 278-unit Sawmill Point apartment project in downtown Wilmington.

Dominion to hold public meetings on pipeline project

September 18, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Resources will hold a series of public meetings in Eastern N.C. next week for residents to learn more about the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Meetings will be held in Pembroke, Fayetteville, Smithfield, Nashville and Weldon.

Cumberland County postpones decision on proposed chicken plant

September 17, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

After failing to reach an agreement over incentives for Sanderson Farms' proposed $113 million chicken-processing plant, Cumberland County commissioners decided to put the project on hold. The plant would create 1,000 jobs in Fayetteville, though many residents and property owners are against it due to concerns over property values and environmental impact.

NJ Gov. Christie in Wilmington to support Tillis

September 17, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie joined N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis in Wilmington Tuesday to support Tillis' campaign for U.S. Senate. About 40 protestors demonstrated outside The Dixie Grill, where the lawmakers attended a rally, many disgruntled over Tillis' involvement in reducing North Carolina's film incentives.

Campbell University has most NC undergrads

September 16, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Since 2009, Buies Creek-based Campbell University has enrolled more undergraduate students from North Carolina than any other private college or university in the state, according to a report based on data from the N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities.

NCDOT, SELC seek compromise on Bonner Bridge replacement

September 16, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The N.C. Department of Transportation is working with the Southern Environmental Law Center to find a solution to replace the Outer Banks' Bonner Bridge. The SELC has proposed a 17-mile bridge to replace the aging structure, while the DOT wants to build a less expensive parallel bridge. The two parties say they are in talks to work out a compromise.

Dollar stores proliferate in southeastern NC

September 15, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

The nation's top three dollar-store chains operate a combined 40 stores in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties, and more are planned. The smaller-store format allows the stores to act as corner or convenience stores in locations without grocery stores nearby.

Fayetteville may link chicken-plant incentives to local hiring

September 12, 2014

(The Fayetteville Observer)

Fayetteville City Council may require Sanderson Farms to hire mostly Cumberland County contractors to build its proposed $113 million chicken plant in order for the Mississippi-based company to receive local incentives. The city could also require the poultry producer to hire county residents to fill the majority of its 1,000 jobs.

Film industry awaits guidelines for new grant program

September 12, 2014

(StarNews, Wilmington)

Film productions are still waiting to learn how to apply for the state's new grant program, which will go into effect in 2015. Johnny Griffin, director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, says television and film projects planning to film in early 2015 will begin searching for locations by early October.

Enviva to invest $214 million in wood-pellet plants

September 10, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Enviva will invest $214 million and create 160 jobs at two wood-pellet mills in Richmond and Sampson counties. The Maryland-based company will receive up to $1.7 million in state incentives if it meets job creation and investment targets. The wood pellets will be shipped from Port of Wilmington to Europe, where they are used for fuel (Timber Tantrum, August).