Business & Economy

Tupelo Honey Cafe cookbook
Tupelo Honey Cafe

Southern food is a popular cuisine in many foodie circles. But an Asheville restaurant seeks to highlight a subgenre of Southern food: Appalachian cuisine. Chef Brian Sonokus of Tupelo Honey Café and co-author Elizabeth Sims demonstrate the versatility of Appalachian cuisine in their new book, Tupelo Honey Café: New Southern Flavors From The Blue Ridge Mountains. Host Frank Stasio talks with Sonokus and Sims about the expansion of Tupelo Honey Café and their new book. 

SwitchPoint 2013
SwitchPoint

There's a fascinating conference happening Thursday and Friday at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw. It's called SwitchPoint. This is the conference for you if you're interested in things like using technology for good, social entrepreneurship and creativity/design.

The attendees are the kind of people who are doing the most interesting things in our society: printing 3-D organs, crowdsourcing crisis response via text, building medical devices out of broken toys.

GlaxoSmithKline
www.gsk.com

Big changes and asset swaps in the pharmaceutical world are happening this week, but the Triangle should be spared of any fall-out.

One of the big moves in this chess game includes Switzerland-based Novartis agreeing to spend up to $16 billion for GlaxoSmithKline’s cancer drug business in Pennsylvania.

Women at a meeting
creative commons

The number of female business-owners in the United States is strikingly low, but the number of couples going into business together is rising. However, a new study shows that when married women go into business with their husbands, they are less likely to maintain a leadership role. Howard Aldrich is a professor and chair of the sociology department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

stack of money
Flickr user 401(K)2013

An Ohio-based financial services company claims North Carolina’s Pension Fund is one of the worst managed in the country. 

Benchmark Financial Services was hired by the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) to conduct a forensic investigation of the state pension fund.

Unemployment lines
Wikimedia

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest figures on the state’s unemployed. But do these numbers paint an accurate picture of the jobs economy in North Carolina?

Host Frank Stasio talks to Triangle Business Journal Reporter Jason deBruyn about the latest statistics and the ways to count the unemployed. His recent coverage includes:

A picture of a recycling cart
Cary

Starting today, residents of Cary can recycle even more waste materials.  In addition to soda bottles and milk jugs, Cary will accept bulky #2 HPDE plastic in its curbside recycling bins.

Solid Waste Division Manager Bob Holden said that includes old patio furniture, storage bins, and garbage cans.

“We listened to our citizens,” Holden said. “Our citizens wanted us to look for more ways to recycle more things. And working with our contractor, they found a domestic market that would accept these specific items to make paint cans out of them.”

A picture of Mitchell Silver.
City of Raleigh

Raleigh is bidding farewell to its planning director.

Mitchell Silver took the post in 2005, when Raleigh was a mid-sized city grappling with rapid population growth. Silver says the city was able to ride the wave by becoming an attractive place to live and work.  He cites changing density and zoning ordinances, building the Raleigh Convention Center, and revitalizing Hillsborough Street and Cameron Village as successes.

A map showing the hottest growth spots for immigrants in NC
NC Bankers Association

A new study is challenging the notion that low-paid immigrant populations are "taking" jobs from native North Carolinians.

  

While tax day can evoke feelings of anxiety and dread across the country, some North Carolina groups are using today’s deadline to start conversations about tax reform and filing issues in the state.

'Sunny Side Up' A picture of  a lifeguard chair
Creative Commons

The National Parks Service is trying to keep at least a few lifeguards on the Cape Hatteras Seashore this summer.

Federal officials cut the $200,000 program that staffed three beaches seven days a week during the summer.

Now, Outer Banks Group Superintendent Barclay Trimble said he wants lifeguard service contractors to offer bids that can accommodate a tighter budget.

Obama at Vacon
White House

Manufacturing jobs across the state are holding steady in some regions.  A report released Thursday takes a look at modern manufacturing and how it can help North Carolina thrive.

The Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) says the formula for creating a new manufacturing platform in the state is re-branding, networking and training youth, as young as possible.

Anita Brown-Graham is director of the Institute.  She says you can also let people know how much money they can make.

An internet hacker dressed as a robber cracks a code on a desktop
flickr.com

    

You may not know what OpenSSL does, but odds are you rely on it when you enter your credit card number to make a purchase online. The software provides internet security for companies large and small across the web. A recently discovered bug in the software called Heartbleed could mean massive security breaches by hackers and exposure of private information. 

Generations Credit Union
Generations Community Credit Union

The credit union landscape has changed a little across North Carolina.  Durham-based Generations Community Credit Union has merged with Self-Help Credit Union.

Stanley Furniture
Stanley Furniture

Fashion designers and innovators in the home furnishings world are in High Point this week for the bi-annual market.

More than 2,000 exhibitors fill the furniture and home furnishing showrooms of High Point. 

Kelly Edwards has produced High Point Market videos for the web.  Buyers tell her, “There’s always brass and vintage brass is really hot right now.  Anything antique to brass." 

A picture of segments of pipeline.
Harald Hoyer / Creative Commons

Two major energy companies want to build a second natural gas pipeline into North Carolina.

Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas are soliciting proposals for a pipeline that could carry 900 million cubic feet of gas per day.

Duke is shifting a significant portion of its energy portfolio from coal into natural gas. Piedmont transports gas for both companies via the Transco line from the Texas gulf.

Piedmont spokesman David Trusty said production was interrupted after Hurricane Katrina. He says the companies want to be able to diversify their natural gas sources.

Interstate 40 traffic
Dave DeWitt

North Carolina's Department of Transportation is considering taxing drivers by the mile to help pay for road construction and upgrades. As cars become more efficient, the gas tax is becoming a less effective revenue source.

The department's Funding and Appropriations Strategies committee – or FAST – has been meeting with leaders and researchers across the state to hear concerns about population growth and potential solutions for insufficient infrastructure.

NC State researchers suggested a revenue model using annual odometer checks or GPS technology to tax motorists.

A picture of Nash Health Care
Nash Health Care System

Nash Health Care in Rocky Mount is the newest hospital to join the UNC Health System. Their affiliation agreement allows UNC to manage operations at Nash.

Nash Health CEO Larry Chewning will now be on UNC Health's payroll, but Nash will continue to be governed by its independent board of directors.

A picture of a scientist examining lionfish eggs in a beaker.
NOAA

If Congress passes the president's proposed 2015 budget, North Carolina's coast could lose a century-old marine lab.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's lab in Beaufort is on the chopping block.

Ciaran Clayton is a spokeswoman for NOAA.

“The current cost per year to operate and maintain the facility (is) about $1.6 million per year,” Clayton said. “It's an aging facility and would require additional funding to make those improvements, something that is just not currently in our current budget or in our future budgets.”

A picture of flattened soda cans
gfpeck / Flickr

A growing contingent of manufacturers is working to make products with packaging that won't end up in a landfill.

They'll have a workshop devoted to education and idea-swapping at this week's Zeroing in on Waste Reduction event in Asheville. Carolina Recycling Association hosts the annual conference and trade show, which will gather 700 exhibitors, businesses, speakers and participants.

Diane Davis is the executive director of the CRA. She said making products that limit waste can be cost-effective while being environmentally friendly.

Matt Victoriano
Matt Victoriano

This is the story of two men. Both Marines. Both served in the Middle East. Both struggled when they returned. One Durham coffee shop brought them together and helped them re-connect to civilian life.

Ryan Wetter did two tours in Afghanistan. He conducted reconnaissance, often under cover of darkness. He is the 19th Marine  in his family to serve since the Korean war. He always knew he'd be a Marine. "Its like telling kids not to be a superhero. You see a superhero running around, that's what you want to be."

A picture of young people in downtown Raleigh.
Leo Suarez / Flickr

North Carolina's dozen metropolitan areas are growing faster than the country as a whole. That's according to US Census Bureau's county and metro area population estimates from 2012 to 2013.

During that time, the US population grew by .7 percent. Wake County had the second-highest growth – after Mecklenberg – with 2.3 percent.

Rural counties, including Pasquotank and Halifax were among those losing the most residents.

Bob Coats works in the state budget office and the State Data Center. He says people are migrating to urban centers with more robust economies.

Willie Deese
www.merck.com

Hundreds of people in business, government, and the non-profit sector are meeting in Durham this week to discuss ways to grow minority and women-owned businesses.

This year’s Executive Networking Conference at the Washington-Duke Inn and Golf Club will include congressmen and leaders in supplier diversity.

A picture of a woman using a tablet next to the SAS Analytics U logo.
SAS

A Cary-based software company is offering a free service to university students and professors.

SAS Analytics U will allow them to use statistical tools to manage data, identify trends, and make decisions in their research and class work. Analytics U also allows them to share their work in online communities.

Greensboro skyline
creative commons

  

 The Greensboro City Council approved a plan directing $65 million toward the development of a performing arts center in Greensboro. Similar venues in Durham and Charlotte have brought revenue and recognition to the cities. Greensboro leaders hope their investment will yield similar rewards. 

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