Business & Economy

A farm worker out in the field.
U.S. Department of Agriculture /

New proposed rules from the U.S. Department of Labor could impact tens of thousands of temporary immigrant farm workers who come to North Carolina each year.

File photo of a family meeting a new baby.
Scott Sherrill-Mix / flickr, creative commons, https://flic.kr/p/KP8gps

Employees across North Carolina's public university system will soon receive paid time off to care for a newborn or newly adopted child.

The University of North Carolina System Board of Governors, which oversees the 17-campus public university system, approved a new family leave policy that will give eight weeks of paid time off to birth mothers, and four weeks of paid time off to new fathers or other non-birth parents.

Strickland Farms
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

North Carolina tobacco farmers say Hurricane Dorian destroyed at least 20 to 25 percent of their total harvest, hurting the state's overall tobacco industry, according to David Thomas, of the U.S. Tobacco Cooperative.

Text ' Shame of Chicago'
Courtesy of Bruce Orenstein

One of the few paths to homeownership for Chicago’s black community in the 1950s and ‘60 was home sale contracts. African American buyers would make payments toward the purchase of a home, but the seller held the deed until the home was paid off in full. Buyers had the illusion of a mortgage without the protection of a mortgage.

The chief executives of many prominent U.S. companies sent a letter to U.S. senators on Thursday urging them to pass new federal gun control laws.

“Gun violence in America is not inevitable; it’s preventable,” the letter from 145 CEOs reads. “There are steps Congress can, and must, take to prevent and reduce gun violence.”

A tree and telephone line fell across a street in Greensboro.
Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

The city of Greensboro has helped more than 200 renters become homeowners this year.

Yoo and his family with a family of African immigrants.
Courtesy of Lawrence Yoo

Pastor Lawrence Yoo’s vision for changing the world combines community service and entrepreneurship, and he has used this model in his own life.

A warehouse of barrels.
Courtesy of Southern Distilling Company

The ABC Store is a tradition that has ruled North Carolina since the end of prohibition. Alcohol was a divisive political issue after prohibition ended, and North Carolina took a firm stance.

In this Thursday, March 21, 2019, photo, Jordan Demartino climbs towards the top of a power pole in a bucket truck as she works to install a new backyard light for a Duke Energy customer in Simpsonville, S.C.
Sarah Blake Morgan / AP

On a cool South Carolina morning, Duke Energy electrical linemen shift their gaze toward the sky as their colleague rises above them in a bucket truck.

Jordan Demartino's blonde ponytail peeks out from underneath her white safety helmet. She's quiet as she reaches the top and gets to work connecting a line from a transformer along a rural road to a new light she's installing in a customer's backyard.

Making Any Place Home: Crawford Edition

Aug 23, 2019
Da'Mon Crawford-James / WUNC

My mom, Shekema Crawford, is really good at moving. She knows exactly what to do with everything. She knows what to keep and what to get rid of.

Wikimedia Commons

Triangle-based tech company Cree is feeling pressure from U.S. trade disputes with China. CEO Gregg Lowe detailed the company's fourth quarter earnings in a conference call Tuesday. 

“The current operating environment is very challenging,” said Lowe. “Geopolitical and macroeconomic issues impacted our financial results in the fourth quarter, and we expect them to present some additional headwinds in Q1 of 2020 and perhaps beyond.”

Wikimedia Commons

Drug giant Pfizer is expanding its North Carolina manufacturing plant for gene-therapy medicines to treat rare diseases, adding about 300 jobs.

PNC Arena is in line for enhancement projects if the Raleigh City Council and Wake County Board of Commissioners can come to an agreement.
Centennial Authority / hok/ratio

Those in support of millions of dollars worth of enhancement projects to PNC Arena and other facilities will have to keep the champagne on ice. At least for now.

A rendering of the proposed enhancements for PNC Arena.
Centennial Authority / hok/ratio

Wake County commissioners approved a plan that re-allocates close to $50 million to tourism-related projects in the county per year.

Most of the money subsidizes the Raleigh Convention Center, but there are other tourism related projects as well, notably PNC Arena, which is in line to receive $9 million per year for the next 25 years.

https://bit.ly/2MZEueU

Xerox Corp. will open a North Carolina technology center employing about 600 people, passing up its current headquarters in Connecticut and former headquarters in Upstate New York for a growing Southern tech cluster.

News & Observer

Martha Mobley just cannot stay away from the farm. She grew up on a 1,000 acre livestock operation in Franklin County started by her grandfather in the early 1900s. Some of her earliest memories are of joining her father to deliver sows in a building still standing behind their house.

A man rides a tractor on his farm.
Courtesy of Charity Moretz

In the summer, roadside stands full of seasonal produce and signs pointing to “pick-your-own berry” fields line North Carolina country roads. Hayrides and pumpkin patches are a fall staple. These farm activities make for a fun Saturday with the family or a bucolic addition to an Instagram grid. For many farmers, however, they are the legs they stand on. Agriculture is a big industry in North Carolina, yet an increasing number of small farms cannot afford to engage in only crop or livestock farming.

Old photograph of women sitting together playing cards.
Courtesty of the Ocean City Beach Citizens Council

Ocean City Beach sits along a one-mile stretch of land on Topsail Island. A coalition of interracial business owners founded the community in 1949 as a vacation spot for black North Carolinians. Its establishment created the first beachfront town where people of color could purchase or build property in North Carolina. 

Soy farmers have been hit particularly hard by the trade war.
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Twitter

The tariff war between The White House and Beijing has hurt North Carolina farmers. Even farmers who support President Donald Trump's tactic on trade will say as much.

Now, the federal government is trying to make impacted farmers whole.

Promotional material for the podcast of Reema Khrais standing in front of a receipt reading 'This is Uncomfortable.'
Courtesy of Marketplace

Do you follow up with friends about money they owe you, or do you let it slide? Would you pay your romantic partner to do the dishes? How about asking your coworker how much they make? The subject of money is ever-present yet it’s often one of the toughest conversations to broach with friends, family and colleagues.
 

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

North Carolina's only federally recognized American Indian tribe could soon offer sports and horse wagering to patrons at its two casinos.

The General Assembly on Monday gave final approval to a measure that would give the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians the authority to offer the additional types of betting. The House voted 90-27 for the measure that had already cleared the Senate three months ago.

the graphic for the project 'On The Margins'
WFDD

As of 2016, Greensboro and Winston-Salem had the highest rates of evictions in all of North Carolina. 

A yearlong collaborative reporting project dove into the topic: exploring how evictions create a ripple effect in people’s lives, the role the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem plays in evictions there and a look at one redlined community in Greensboro. 

  1. Long before he was CEO of Office Depot, Bruce Nelson was a young kid who had to work to earn his keep.

The earliest stages of gentrification in North Carolina can be traced to the redevelopment of city centers.
Flickr

Word is getting out that North Carolina is a great place to live. The state has been readily attracting people from other parts of the country in recent years, but the rising tide has not lifted all boats.

Rendering of the proposed Downtown South development in south Raleigh.
Downtown South / Gensler

Professional soccer club owner Steve Malik and Raleigh mega-developer John Kane publicly unveiled their plans for a nearly $2 billion project that would bring a 20,000-seat soccer stadium, 1.6 million square feet of office space, 750 residential apartments and 1,200 hotel rooms to a 55-acre plot in south Raleigh.

Swain County in Western North Carolina ranks 99th out of the state's 100 counties for food security.
Matt Rose / Carolina Public Press

Carolina Public Press is taking a year-long look at hunger and food insecurity in Western North Carolina. “The Faces of Hunger” addresses many widely publicized facets of the problem, including its impact on the elderly and low-income children will also expose some of the not-so-common victims.

Photo of prescription bottle and pils
Eric Norriss / Flickr Creative Commons

In addition to its harmful impacts on families, the opioid epidemic has hurt the labor force. But a bright spot finds the negative effects on businesses can be reversed in areas with the political appetite for action.

Courtesy of Jon Steinman

The food system is broken and grocery stores are a big part of the problem, according to author Jon Steinman. Steinman spent years researching the money and health and environmental impact of our grocery system, which is dominated by large food conglomerates.

NC Rural Center, Rural Counties, Small Business
NC Rural Center

A recent report from the North Carolina Rural Center shows small businesses in rural North Carolina have been disappearing at what some call an alarming rate.

NPR reporter Frank Langfitt stands next to the taxi he used to give free rides to strangers in Shanghai to investigate shifts in China's social and political paradigm.
Courtest of Frank Langfitt

Reporter Frank Langfitt was no stranger to China when he started the job of NPR Shanghai correspondent in 2011. Langfitt had worked for a newspaper in Beijing from 1997 to 2002, but the country he returned to on this new assignment was vastly different from the one he had lived in before.

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