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Pennsylvania dental-supply company moving HQ to Charlotte

Dentsply Sirona, a York, Pa.-based dental-supply company, is moving its headquarters to Ballantyne Corporate Park in Charlotte. The company said last year it was adding more than 300 jobs and establishing a commercial hub in the Queen City. Dentsply Sirona, a publicly traded company with $3.9 billion in sales in 2018, designs and makes sealants, whiteners, fluoride and dental lab equipment.

Asheville commission approves Harrah’s downtown arena naming rights

The Asheville Downtown Commission approved Harrah’s Cherokee Casino’s naming rights to the city-owned downtown arena. Harrah outbid U.S. Cellular, the current rights holder, with a five-year contract worth $3.25 million, according to The Asheville Citizen-Times. U.S. Cellular’s naming rights expire at the end of 2019. Asheville City Council is expected to vote on the proposal on May 28.

Charlotte physician group supports NC treasurer’s health care pricing strategy

Tryon Medical Partners, the Charlotte area’s biggest independent physicians’ practice, says it signed a contract to join the North Carolina State Health Plan network. The move aligns the 90-physician group with State Treasurer Dale Folwell’s plan for a reimbursement schedule that the N.C. Healthcare Association has attacked with a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign suggesting patient service disruption and major financial harm to the state’s hospitals. The N.C. State Health Plan covers more than 700,000 teachers, state employees and retirees, making it the biggest health care purchaser in North Carolina.

VisionQuest Wealth Management owner on trial for alleged Ponzi scheme

Stephen Condon Peters, owner of Raleigh’s VisionQuest Wealth Management, went on trial Thursday for allegedly taking part in an elaborate Ponzi scheme. The investment adviser is accused of swindling customers out of more than $15 million, according to a report from WRAL. Prosecutors claim Peters diverted $6 million for personal use and used the remainder to pay off earlier investors.

Austrian chemicals company opens plant in Alexander County

Borealis, an Austria-based producer of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers, officially opened its polypropylene compounding plant in Taylorsville in Alexander County. The 50,000-square-foot plant adds 66 million pounds of capacity, according to a press release. The company has said it plans to invest $15 million and employ 37 at the plant. The compounds will be used initially in automotive interior and exterior parts. The company has 6,000 employees globally.

Brunswick County Schools extend free breakfast, lunch to include all students

All 19 Brunswick County Schools have been approved to enroll in the federal Community Eligibility Provision program after Hurricane Florence and will now offer all students free breakfast and lunch. CEP allows schools with 40% or more students receiving free or reduced-price meals to offer free meals to every student, according to the Star News. The school system has offered free breakfast to its elementary school students since 2014.

Greensboro targeting apartment owners who aren’t meeting code

Mayor Nancy Vaughan said Greensboro plans to sue the 10 biggest violators of the city’s housing code in July to send a message to apartment owners that aren’t maintaining properties. The city is sorely lacking affordable housing and too many property owners are taking advantage of record-low vacancy rates by failing to meet city codes, she said Wednesday. One target of Greensboro officials is Arco Realty, which owns a Summit Avenue apartment complex that caught fire just over a year ago, killing five children.

NASCAR owners plan to buy International Speedway for $2B

The privately held NASCAR racing organization said it will buy publicly traded International Speedway Corp. for $2 billion. Speedway owns 12 tracks that host NASCAR races. Both organizations are controlled by the France family and exert great influence on America’s most popular racing series. The transaction follows plans by Charlotte-based track operator Speedway Motorports Inc. to be acquired by the Smith family, which founded the company. Speedway and ISC host most of the sport’s top-level races.

 

Grocer Lidl plans expansion in Triangle

German grocery store chain Lidl is building a new location in north Raleigh and Cary. Both stores are expected to open in spring 2020. Lidl is also working on new stores in Charlotte, Greensboro, Matthews and Wilmington. The Raleigh store will be 36,000 square feet with 180 parking spots and the Cary location will be 29,500 square feet with 120 parking lots. Lidl has 10,500 stores spread across 29 countries.

Duke gets approval for Madison County microgrid project

 Duke Energy is moving ahead with a $30 million installation of a microgrid in western North Carolina after state regulators approved the plan. Duke plans a 2-megawatt solar facility and a 4-megawatt lithium-based battery storage facility in Hot Springs in Madison County. The North Carolina Utilities Commission said the Hot Springs Microgrid should be approved as a pilot project, noting its solar generation-related components supported “the public interest.” Microgrids are designed to fun independently of the main national electric grid.

N.C. politicians wrangle over proposed Catawba casino in Kings Mountain

The South Carolina-based Catawba Indian Nation’s plan for a $340 million casino in Kings Mountain is winning support from some key N.C. leaders, while others remain strongly opposed. The Catawbas have sought approval for the project for many years, while bucking opposition from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, which operates casinos in western North Carolina.

UNC, ECU sue Vidant over board appointment changes

The UNC System and East Carolina University are seeking an injunction to block changes that eliminated the UNC Board of Governors’ authority to name appointees to the board of Greenville-based Vidant Medical Center. UNC filed the complaint in state Superior Court in Orange County, contending Vidant breached a 2013 agreement that enabled the system’s board to appoint a minority of board members. Vidant has said the changes will lead to improved governance of the not-for-profit hospital authority. ECU oversees the Brody School of Medicine, which sends Vidant a steady supply of student physicians.

German grocer Lidl adding stores across the state

Discount grocery chain Lidl plans to add 25 East Coast stores by spring of 2020, including locations in Cary, Charlotte, Greensboro, Matthews, Raleigh and Wilmington. Meanwhile, Lidl plans to close its stores in Kinston and Rockingham this summer. The German grocer is currently hiring for about 100 positions at its Alamance County distribution center and regional headquarters.

CaroMont Health plans expansion topping $300M in Gaston County

CaroMont Health plans a 60-to-80-bed regional medical center near Belmont Abbey College, pending state approval. The $173 million expansion is expected to open by 2023. The Gastonia-based health care system also plans to spend $70 million to add 50 beds to its 435-bed main hospital. Finally, CaroMont says it is budgeting $82 million for new medical offices in Bessemer City, Cramerton and Gastonia. CEO Chris Peek said it may be a record company investment in Gaston County.

Tax cuts help explain growing N.C. surplus, GOP lawmakers say

With an expected $643 million surplus anticipated in the fiscal year ending June 30, state Republican leaders are crediting tax cuts initiated in recent years as a key factor in the gains. The Republican-controlled legislature has reduced the state’s corporate tax rate from 6.9% in 2013 to 2.5% in 2019 — lowest in the country for states that have a corporate tax rate. Corporate taxes have cumulatively declined more than $600 million annually because of the changes. Gov. Roy Cooper opposes further tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy and prefers investments in public education including K-12, community colleges and universities, a spokesman said.

BofA closing 10% of its Chicago-area branches

Charlotte-based Bank of America is closing 16 branches in the Chicago area in July, about 10% of the footprint in the nation’s third-biggest metro area. BofA is Chicago’s third-largest bank by deposits and plans to close six offices in the city and 10 in various suburbs. Bank officials say they expect to open 11 new branches over the next few years that will help achieve faster growth.

RDU to add first craft-beer taproom

Raleigh Brewing Co. plans a craft beer tavern at Raleigh-Durham International Airport’s Terminal 1, marking the first of its type at the site. The tavern will also sell coffee from North Carolina’s Port City Java. Raleigh Brewing is among the state’s few women-owned breweries in the state, led by CEO Kristie Nystedt.

VF’s Rendle tops list of highest-paid Triad executives

VF Corp.’s Steven Rendle, who is moving the apparel company’s headquarters to Denver, was the highest-paid CEO based in the Triad with 2018 compensation of $13.7 million, a study by the Winston-Salem Journal shows. Greg Gantt of Old Dominion Freight Line was second at $9.7 million, while Gerald Evans Jr. of Hanesbrands collected $8.8 million. VF is spinning off its jeans business, Kontoor Brands, with shares of the new company expected to start trading on May 22. Kontoor is based in Greensboro.

Raleigh’s McConnell Golf takes over management at Wilmington club

Raleigh-based McConnell Golf is taking over management at Porters Neck County Club near Wilmington. The club recently filed a federal lawsuit against its insurance company, Allied World Assurance Co., alleging the firm failed to honor its contract after Hurricane Florence caused $7.5 million damage to the course. The suit claims the insurer has only paid $750,000 of $6 million that should have been covered. The club features a Tom Fazio-designed course and is located along the Intracoastal Waterway.

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