Business & Economy

A picture of a Green Zone Drop Zone bin in Durham
Rebecca Martinez / WUNC

So you've unpacked your winter clothes and are packing up your warm weather duds to hibernate until spring. But what about all the leftover clothes? Not the gently worn items that might fetch a couple bucks at a consignment store -- go ahead and sell or donate those.

A cigarette in an ashtray.
Tomasz Sienicki / Wikipedia

A North Carolina company that buys, processes and sells leaf tobacco to cigarette companies is cutting almost 600 jobs as it reorganizes.

A Colorado man is suing Bank of America over trademarks for its use of Erica, the virtual assistant the Charlotte-based bank created to help customers who use its mobile app.

Red Hat logo
h4ker / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/5dmxKt

Shares of Red Hat skyrocketed at the opening bell Monday after IBM, in the biggest acquisition of its 100-year history, acquired the software company.

The $34 billion stock deal translates to $190 per Red Hat share — a 63 percent premium to the closing price Friday for the Raleigh, North Carolina company. Red Hat Inc.'s stock soared almost 50 percent in early trading.

In what may be the most significant tech acquisition of the year, IBM says it will acquire open-source software company Red Hat for approximately $34 billion.

Under the terms of the deal announced Sunday, IBM will acquire Red Hat for $190 a share — a premium of more than 60 percent over Red Hat's closing price of $116.68 on Friday.

pxhere.com

News deserts are cropping up across America. A new report shows nearly 1,800 papers have shuttered or merged since 2004, and 171 counties across the U.S. have no local newspaper. This decline has deep implications for civic participation and government accountability, which become even more critical around election time.


Yale University Press

In his new book, political science professor Patrick Deneen calls on readers to take a long, hard look at America’s oft-exalted liberal ideology.

A North Carolina State University researcher is using underwater microphones to help better understand the extensive array of animals living in the state’s oyster reefs.
James Morrison / WUNC

While cleanup crews are getting a good idea of how much the damage Hurricane Florence will cost, it's not yet clear what the storm might have done to North Carolina's fishing industry. 

The cover of 'For Your Own Good: Taxes, Paternalism, and Fiscal Discrimination in the Twenty-First Century.'
Courtesy of Todd Nesbit / Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Selective taxes on items like cigarettes and alcohol are often imposed by the U.S. government to help consumers make better choices. But according to economist Todd Nesbit, these so-called “sin taxes” can have unintended consequences that thwart this mission.

Creative Commons / pxhere

Kitchens in America’s top-rated restaurants have long been a boys club in which men hold the positions of power and women have to play by their rules, even when they cross the line. However, the reaction to allegations against top chefs and media darlings like Mario Batali show that the tides may be turning as the #MeToo movement enters the kitchen.

Barak Richman
Barak Richman

New York City’s Fifth and Sixth Avenues are home to some of the world’s biggest, richest retailers and financial giants. But on a stretch of 47th Street that connects these two thoroughfares, an ancient barter economy for diamonds still holds sway. The diamond industry is built on family relationships and ethnic networks, and it operates independent of modern legal and financial institutions.

A poultry farm flooded due to Hurricane Florence
Rick Dove / Waterkeeper Alliance

North Carolina farmers will suffer some heavy losses from the effects of Hurricane Florence. Preliminary reports from the state agriculture department show heavy hits to peanut, soybean, cotton and sweet potato crops.

Garry Knight / Flickr Creative Commons

The wealth gap in the United States is growing – and it has negative consequences beyond the economy. A recent report from the Pew Research Center shows the American middle class continues to lose financial ground to the upper class. 

Nchole Yeo / Flickr

UNC-Chapel Hill Grad Student Janel Burns sat at a laptop in her Durham apartment, taking a sample personality test. It was the kind you might take when you've applied for a new job.

North Carolinians have been clearing grocery shelves and stocking up on clean water in anticipation of Hurricane Florence. However the insurance industry says if you want to really prepare for the worst, you need to take stock of what you've already got at home.

Cover image of "Assembly" by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.
Courtesy Michael Hardt

Ask Americans to name people who led the fight for civil rights in the 1960s and figures Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks will quickly emerge. But Duke professor Michael Hardt argues that contemporary social protest movements have moved away from centralizing power and promoting figureheads. That observation is the thesis of his latest book “Assembly” (Oxford University Press/2017) co-authored by Antonio Negri.

Publix is one company with an employee stock ownership plan.
Mike Kalasnik / Flickr Creative Commons

Publix Supermarkets will add 1,000 jobs at a new distribution facility in Greensboro. The ramp up will take four years and Publix plans to invest $300 million in the project.

Amazon announced Raleigh is on the list of 20 possible contenders for its HQ2.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

A North Carolina town will be the site of a new Amazon distribution center that officials say will lead to hundreds of millions in investment and the creation of more than a thousand jobs.

Amazon announced Raleigh is on the list of 20 possible contenders for its HQ2.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

North Carolina will be one of the first states to start collecting sales taxes on online purchases.

File photo of a comic strip.
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

The Trump Administration tariffs on paper are forcing the Robesonianan newspaper to cut its 8-page Sunday color comics section. Editor Donnie Douglas wrote an editorial explaining that the cost of Canadian newsprint has become too expensive to keep printing that section.

Raleigh Union Station in downtown Raleigh. The new station opened July 10, 2018. It serves Amtrak customers.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Growth in downtown Raleigh is setting records, and it shows no indication of slowing down.

Through the first half of 2018, $274 million worth of construction projects have been completed. That's the most since 2013, and there are still six months left in the year.

Power bills are going up slightly for Duke Energy households in central and western North Carolina this week.

Income trends in North Carolina
Economic Policy Institute

In North Carolina, the average top 1 percent earner takes home more than 20 times what the average earner in the bottom 99 percent earns, according to new research published by the Economic Policy Institute.

Student, Jimmy Haddock, left, helps Quenten Lee with identifying the parts of a tractor and trailer during a check list exercise for a pre-trip inspection upcoming exam at Future Truckers of America, truck driving school on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.
Lynn Hey / For WUNC

It’s a special day for Nobel Holmes: he’s finally getting the chance to drive. But he’s not getting behind the wheel of a car or motorcycle. Holmes is driving an 18-wheeler semi-truck for the first time.

photo of a person operating a tractor in a tobacco field
Larry Lamb / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina farmers are among those warily watching a new trade dispute between the United States and allies in North America and Europe.

The Wild Bison truck stop, pictured here at night, is where Rao began her reporting for her novel.
Courtesy of Maya Rao / WUNC

Before 2008, western North Dakota was a faded frontier. The vast and sparsely-populated area had been steadily losing population since the Great Depression. But the discovery of the Bakken oil fields, in combination with new fracking technology, paved the way for what Maya Rao calls a modern-day gold rush.

Hogs in a large-scale farming barn.
Public Domain

North Carolina’s pork industry has been in the spotlight since a jury awarded tens of millions to 10 people living close to one Eastern North Carolina hog farm. The money was awarded as nuisance payments for noxious odors, floating fecal dust and other byproducts of large-scale farms known as concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFO’s.

Smithfield Foods promised to cut emissions.
humanesociety.org

Lawyers for the world's largest pork producer don't want jurors to hear about the finances of a company whose industrial-scale hog operations caused a stench so bad it made life miserable for its rural neighbors.

A bar graph showing available technology jobs in North Carolina each month over the past year.
North Carolina Technology Association

Information Technology jobs are still in high demand across the state, according to the latest Tech Talent Trends Alert from the North Carolina Technology Association.

Scenes from the 2017 Rural Day.
Courtesy of York Wilson Photography

More than 400 local and state officials, business leaders and economic developers will gather in Raleigh Tuesday for the second annual Rural Day.

Organized by the non-profit North Carolina Rural Center, the event will focus on promoting economic development in the state's 80 counties with a population density of less than 250 people per square mile.

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