Business & Economy

Business & Economy
12:24 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Angel Trees Go High Tech

Drawing from the CommuniGift site
Credit www.CommuniGift.com

Angel trees are in many places in our communities: churches, malls. Each ornament on the tree has a child's name on it, and a list of gifts the child would like for the holidays. Human "angels" take the tag, go shopping, and return some of those gifts wrapped and ready in time for the holidays.

A new start-up company is trying to update the model.

"CommuniGift" is an online platform, designed to make finding and shopping for needy children and families easier.

It works a couple of different ways.

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Business & Economy
7:58 am
Fri December 6, 2013

A True Cost Analysis Of '12 Days Of Christmas'

Pear Tree, a Partridge, Calling Birds and more at PNC Christmas Price Index event at North Hills in Raleigh.
Credit Leoneda Inge

How much would you pay for Six Geese-a-Laying?  What about a Partridge in a Pear Tree?

An economic analysis by PNC’s Wealth Management Division crunches the numbers and highlights just how much a loved one could end up spending this holiday season.

“On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me, a Partridge in a Pear Tree," sang members of the North Carolina Master Chorale Chamber Choir.

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Unemployment Benefits
9:45 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

New Rules To Receive Unemployment Benefits

North Carolina's Unemployment Rate
Credit U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

As jobless numbers continue to drop, North Carolina Department of Commerce officials are announcing new rules for people receiving unemployment benefits. 

Beginning next February, claimants will be required to present a photo I.D. at an in-person meeting within four weeks of receiving their first benefits. Currently, the meetings are done at random.  

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Developing
10:18 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Bonner Bridge To Close Immediately

Herbert C Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet
Credit jennyk325 via Flickr Creative Commons

Updated 12/4 with video from NCDOT press conference

The N.C. Department of Transportation has closed the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over the Oregon Inlet on N.C. 12 along the Outer Banks today due to immediate safety concerns.

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Traffic
7:43 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Raleigh City Council Suggests Tolls To Pay For I-540 Expansion

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane worries growing traffic congestion on roadways in the Triangle will hurt the area's economic growth.
Credit epSos via Flickr, Creative Commons

Increasingly congested roadways are worrying officials in Raleigh.

The City Council has submitted a "wish list" of road improvement projects to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. It includes a proposal to add lanes to I-540 on the north side of the city.

The council doesn't expect the state to fund the project, so it suggested paying for the 108 million-dollar expansion by setting up tolls on the roadway.

Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin says she knows tolls would not be popular, but she thinks breaking up traffic jams would be.

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Business & Economy
9:08 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Raleigh Is Phasing Out Its Toilet Rebate Program

Credit Salim Virji / Flickr Creative Commons

Raleigh residents have until January first to take advantage of the city's toilet upgrade reimbursement.

Raleigh has been giving out $100 rebates for efficient toilets since 2009. It was part of an effort to encourage water conservation following the severe drought in 2007 and 2008.

Ed Buchan is Raleigh's environmental coordinator. He says the city is ending the rebate program, because rate-payers have embraced the efficiency effort.

"So we have this business case analysis, we looked at the program, and we budgeted $500,000 a year for the rebates," Buchan says.

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Business & Economy
8:28 am
Fri November 29, 2013

North Carolina Holiday Shoppers Are Careful With Dollars

Several big box stores and department stores now open on Thanksgiving Day, before "Black Friday."
Credit Jonathan Alcom, Reuters

Many holiday shoppers are already at the malls on this busiest retail shopping day of the year.  But a new poll says most North Carolinians are keeping a tight purse this season.

Retailers have been working especially hard to get shoppers in stores on this Black Friday.

Kenneth Fernandez is director of the Elon University Poll.  He says there are several reasons why one-third of North Carolinians plan to spend less money on gifts this year.

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Business & Economy
5:00 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Great Harvest For NC Christmas Tree Farmers

A tree farm in Rutherwood, N.C.
Credit BlueRidgeKitties / Flickr

When Jessie Davis started tagging trees for sale in his 500-acre farm in western North Carolina this fall, he noticed his Frasier firs were taller and brighter than they were in previous years. He knew the reason was simple: this was a rainy year.

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Business & Economy
9:39 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Busy Holiday Travel Underway

Credit epSos via Flickr, Creative Commons

Cheaper gas prices and a recovering economy could mean more people hitting the road for the Thanksgiving holiday this week.

AAA Carolinas says gas is $.07 cheaper than last year, but almost $.30 less-expensive than it was Labor Day weekend. Spokeswoman Angela Daley says 36,000 more people plan to travel by car for the holiday this year.  She says the increase in traffic is most likely a sign of economic recovery.

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Business & Economy
3:16 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Name This Underwear; Change A Life

The Phoebe Judge Floss of Digging for the Truth
Credit WUNC

Last year, Urban Ministries of Durham made national news with their online game, Spent. They teamed up with McKinney, an advertising agency, to help re-create the experience of living below the poverty line.

But, after playing Spent, "I think you get through...  and it feels pretty hopeless," said McKinney associate creative director, Jenny Nicholson. UMD and McKinney wanted to bring some of that hope back.

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