Business & Economy

a picture of protests at a fight for $15 rally
Fight for $15

Democrats in the North Carolina House are fighting to raise the state’s minimum wage, which has been stagnant at $7.25 an hour for more than 10 years. Lawmakers argue that wages have not kept up with the cost of living: full-time minimum wage workers in North Carolina earn $15,600 annually, while the federal poverty level for a family of two is $16,910. North Carolina Rep. Susan C. Fisher (D- Buncombe) is the sponsor of one of two Democrat-led house bills which aim to raise the minimum wage to $15 over the next five years.

 

Photo courtesy of Susan Crawford

History tends to repeat itself, and when it comes to new technology, the adage could not be more true. As with the advent of railroads and electricity, fiber optic connection holds huge promise for households and cities but is being held up and held back by companies who do not want to lose control over internet provision. While countries like Sweden, Japan and China surge ahead with fiber networks that are transforming medicine, education and city management, the U.S. lags behind and suffers from low-quality, high-cost connectivity. 

N.C. Department of Transportation
N.C. Department of Transportation

The state transportation board has approved grants that will help provide safety improvements to six North Carolina airports.

A thin film of coal ash coats trees and vegetation in an inactive ash basin at the HF Lee plant. As expected, the area was flooded by Hurricane Florence.
c/o Duke Energy

The country's largest electric company says it's challenging an order by North Carolina's environmental agency to excavate coal ash from all of its power plant sites in the state.

Bank of America
Bank of America

Bank of America plans to raise its starting pay to $20 an hour over a two-year period, the bank said Tuesday, starting with a hike next month.

Tariffs Impact High Point Furniture Market

Apr 8, 2019
Donald Trump
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/rpL7cW

Tariffs imposed by the Trump Administration have added to the costs of many goods imported from China, and that's having an impact on attendance at the High Point Furniture Market.

Harrah's Cherokee Casino and Resort in western North Carolina.
Harrah's Cherokee River Valley Casino and Hotel

Native American tribes have emerged as key players in the legislative debates over whether states should legalize sports betting, with some opposing the idea because it could threaten their casinos and others supporting legalization but only if they retain a monopoly.

A photo of the dunes on North Carolina's barrier islands one month after Hurricane Florence
Photo by Katya Jay

More money is heading to North Carolina commercial fishermen whose landings were harmed by Hurricane Florence.

Creative Commons / Wikimedia Commons

A small Russian bank owned by former U.S. congressman Charles Taylor was stripped of its license Friday after allegedly breaking anti-money laundering rules.

One young woman is walking to find work so she can send money back to Venezuela for a nephew who has leukemia.

Another is traveling with four of her five kids, in search of food for her family.

As another family hikes along, the husband walks ahead to hide his tears from his children.

Ben Raynal / Flickr Creative Commons

Women in North Carolina are likely aware that they make, on average, less than men do. New analysis from the National Partnership for Women & Families shows just how much and to what effect. Their new report reveals that women in North Carolina could afford nearly nine additional months of rent, close to a full year of child care, or more than five months of health insurance premiums if the gender wage gap was closed. 

Eastern Carolina Broadband

Lack of reliable high-speed internet access is a persistent problem in rural North Carolina, but small broadband companies are springing up across the state to meet the needs of underserved communities.

Courtesy GoTriangle

The plan to establish a Durham-Orange Light Rail line is over. The GoTriangle board of trustees voted Wednesday to discontinue planning for the 18-mile line that would have connected the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and UNC Hospitals with Duke University and Duke Hospital and end at North Carolina Central University. 

A picture of Rick Lewis inspecting produce.
Ben McKeown / WUNC

Local grocers work hard to get the most beautiful fruits and vegetables onto market shelves. But a growing number of businesses worldwide are trying to cut down on food waste by selling the so-called "ugly" fruits and vegetables that would otherwise get left behind.

Harrah's Cherokee River Valley Casino and Hotel
Harrah's Cherokee River Valley Casino and Hotel

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians could offer sports and horse betting at its western North Carolina casinos in legislation that appears ready to advance in the state Senate.

An artist's rendering of a light rail stop.
GoTriangle / Triangle Transit

The Durham Orange Light Rail project ground to a halt today as the GoTriangle board of trustees voted to discontinue planning for the 18-mile line from Chapel Hill to Durham.

Public Domain / pxhere

Small North Carolina brewers and alcohol wholesalers raised glasses on Thursday to what they call a legislative compromise that allows the breweries to keep control of their products longer as they grow.

A picture of Erin Lawrimore with a pint of beer.
Jiyoung Park / UNC Greensboro

When you imagine someone who brews beer for a living, who do you picture? A chill guy in jeans and a baseball cap? He's probably white, maybe he has a beard.

Faith leaders voiced their support of House Bill 2. The clergy also denounces comparisons between Civil Rights struggles and LGBT equality efforts.
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Opposition lawmakers urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday to reconsider his ban on New York state-funded travel to North Carolina, so a group of state college swimmers and divers won't have to stay in neighboring Virginia during an upcoming NCAA championship meet.

N.C. Department of Transportation

The new bridge on the North Carolina Outer Banks will carry the name of a former state lawmaker.

The N.C. Board of Transportation voted on Thursday to name the bridge over Oregon Inlet for former state Senate leader Marc Basnight.

Creative Commons / pxphere

This winter, waves of journalists across the country lost their jobs as major media organizations made significant cut backs. Among them, media giant Gannett cut an estimated 400 people, and The McClatchy Company offered voluntary buyouts to about 450 people. The mass layoffs follow years of staff cuts at newspapers and media outlets across the country. 

Creative Commons / Via pxhere

In an effort to cut down on recycling contamination, the Town of Aberdeen has begun refusing to collect from curbside containers that hold dirty or non-recyclable materials. Town Manager Paul Sabiston says those bins will receive a red rejection tag, urging owners to remove garbage and other misplaced items before the next pick-up.

AveXis logo

State Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland on Monday announced a Job Development Investment Grant worth approximately $1.4 million to help bio-tech firm AveXis expand in the Research Triangle Park.

Several communities in rural North Carolina struggle with water infrastructure maintenance.
Courtesy of Flickr user mycieau

A number of North Carolina communities are struggling to access safe drinking water. A WRAL investigative team tracked two decades of data and uncovered high rates of water violations, which are most pervasive in rural areas including the towns of Carthage and Butner in central North Carolina. 

Inside the Cary Performance Bicycle store in January.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

After a bumpy bankruptcy process, the parent company of Chapel Hill-based Performance Bicycle found a buyer. But the new owner will close all of the stores, resulting in close to 2,000 layoffs across the country.

Charlotte's reputation as a major banking center is getting a big boost. Southeastern regional banks BB&T of Winston-Salem and SunTrust of Atlanta are merging to create the nation's sixth largest bank. The combined company will have a new name, yet to be announced. And it will be headquartered in Charlotte.

https://bit.ly/2MRL9FO

Two Southern banks giants — BB&T and SunTrust — announced they would merge in a $66 billion deal, the first big bank merger since the chaos of the 2008 financial crisis.

Gene R. Nichol author of the book, 'The Faces of Poverty in North Carolina: Stories from our Invisible Citizens'
Elyse Ribbons / WUNC

Some day-to-day experiences alert people of poverty in their community: long lines at the food pantry, individuals asking for change near a freeway exit, or family members juggling multiple jobs. But legal scholar Gene R. Nichol believes that the experiences of day-to-day poverty experienced by more than one million North Carolinians are invisible to most. 

Duke Energy provides electricity for most of North Carolina since the 2012 merger.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy is a finalist for a partnership with the Puerto Rican government to modernize the territory's energy grid.  

But lawmakers in Puerto Rico can't agree on how to privatize the electric utility.

TSA Officer Tangela Campbell protested outside RDU's Terminal 2 Wednesday, calling for an end to the partial government shutdown
Will Michaels / WUNC

A small group of federal employees in North Carolina held another demonstration on Wednesday, demanding an end to the partial government shutdown.

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