Business & Economy

Business & Economy
5:58 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Burmese Crops Sprout In Orange County

Maw Roeh packing boxes of produce for his customers at the Transplanting Traditions farm in Orange County.
Credit Emma Miller

Some refugees in Chapel Hill are finding a way to reconnect with their native farming tradition.

The Karen are a displaced ethnic minority from the Southeast Asian nation of Burma (also known as Myanmar). More than a thousand have ended up in Orange County through resettlement programs, which place them in areas like Chapel Hill with free transportation, good schools and available work as housekeepers.

With the help of a community farming project, Karen people in Chapel Hill are once again growing Burmese crops and making money along the way.

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Business & Economy
8:18 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Private Health Care Exchanges Coming To NC

Credit NC Department of Health and Human Services

At least two private health insurance exchanges will soon be launching in North Carolina. 

The NC Chamber and a company called Digital Benefit Advisors are opening websites next month that will act as private marketplaces for health insurance.  Leaders for both organizations say they're designed for employees of companies that might be scaling back their insurance policies.

North Carolina Chamber COO Jim Simpson says the idea is to encourage competition and decrease the cost of insurance.

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Business & Economy
5:34 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Investigation Continues Into State Fair Ride Mishap

A version of the Vortex thrill ride that malfunctioned at the State Fair injuring five passengers.
Credit Technical Park International

State Fair organizers are continuing their investigation into why a thrill ride malfunctioned injuring five people.  Fair-goers won't be able to ride "The Vortex" this final weekend of the 2013 fair.  The ride revved up again unexpectedly after it was stopped to let people off Thursday night. Two of the five people were said to be critically hurt.  

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Business & Economy
6:05 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

TIMCO Sold To Asian Company

Credit redlegs21 via Flickr, Creative Commons

Greensboro based TIMCO Aviation is being sold to Hong Kong company for 388 million dollars. TIMCO is one of the nation’s largest MROs (maintenance, repair, and overhaul). It provides service to commercial and military aircraft and has government contracts. The hedge fund that owns TIMCO agreed this week to sell the company to HAECO for $388 million. The deal will create one of the largest MROs in the world.

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Business & Economy
6:41 am
Tue October 22, 2013

State Jobless Numbers Delayed

NC jobless figures delayed because of government shut down.
Credit NC Policy Watch

The state Commerce Department was scheduled to release North Carolina’s September jobless rate today.  But figures are on hold because of the federal government shut down.

Just like every other state across the country, North Carolina’s jobless numbers are crunched by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  But the 16-day government shutdown has resulted in a delay to the states.  Most of the people responsible for analyzing the data were furloughed.

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Business & Economy
10:16 am
Mon October 21, 2013

New Members For High Speed Rail Commission

Credit Mark Hogan / Flickr Creative Commons

The state DOT is swearing in new members of a high speed rail commission in North Carolina. 

Four members of the General Assembly and a Raleigh attorney will be named Monday to the Virginia-North Carolina High Speed Rail Compact.  Crews are working to upgrade tracks between Charlotte and Raleigh now for the corridor that's planned to run from Atlanta to Washington, D.C.  Supporters of the project have said high speed rail is key infrastructure.  Opponents have called it too costly. 

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Business & Economy
7:59 am
Sat October 19, 2013

Record Rains Delay NC's Sweet Potato Crop

Varieties of NC-grown sweet potatoes
Credit NC Sweet Potato Commission

Buyers of sweet potatoes grown in North Carolina will likely pay more for them at the market this year. North Carolina sweet potato growers have led the nation for years in producing the root crop.  State agriculture estimates are that Tar Heels last year produced about 47 percent of the crop nationally.

But Sue Johnson-Langdon of the non-profit North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission says this year's yield fell victim to mid-year rainfall that ranks among the wettest in more than a century.  

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Business & Economy
8:06 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Raleigh's General Parts International Sold To Advance Auto

A Virginia auto parts company is buying North Carolina-based General Parts International for more than $2 billion.

Advance Auto Parts says its acquisition will create the largest automotive replacement parts provider in North America.  GPI is based in Raleigh and operates under the CARQUEST and Worldpac brand names. 

Advance spokeswoman Shelly Whitaker says the companies have not yet decided how the move will affect GPI's 500 workers in Raleigh.

"It's business as usual for the immediate future," she says.

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The State of Things
11:55 am
Wed October 16, 2013

New Trade Deal Called NAFTA On Steroids

The leaders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership member states.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

    

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the biggest thing to hit international trade since the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Negotiations are ongoing between 12 Pacific Rim countries, including the United States, Canada, Vietnam and Chile. Advocates say the agreement is necessary to ensure smooth trade between nations. Opponents call it a corporate power grab.

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Business & Economy
7:34 am
Mon October 14, 2013

N.C. Mortgages On Hold During Govt. Shutdown

Credit City of Raleigh

North Carolina banks say the ongoing government shutdown means many mortgage applications are idle.

The Internal Revenue Service usually sends tax records to mortgage lenders to verify a client's income, but IRS workers are among the federal employees who are in their 14th day of mandatory furloughs.  Banks are still processing mortgages, but taking a risk if they approve them.

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