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Regional Report Charlotte July 2013

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Workday trippers

Urban sprawl means people can spurn densely populated Mecklenburg County to live in surrounding counties. But a UNC Charlotte Urban Institute study of Census data shows many of the residents of those communities rely on paychecks earned in Mecklenburg. More than 150,000 of the 573,207 people who work in Mecklenburg commute there from another county in the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill metropolitan statistical area. In fact, its weekday population increases 128,655 — to more than 1 million — because of commuters. That’s the 15th-highest such increase in the U.S.

“There just seemed to be a lot of resistance from a lot of special-interest groups that would rather have loopholes than fair tax policy.”

— State Sen. Bob Rucho. The Republican from Matthews — and face of the GOP’s effort to overhaul North Carolina’s tax code — resigned as co-chairman of the Finance Committee in June after Senate leadership unveiled tax-reform legislation that doesn’t include many of his proposals, such as levies on food and prescription drugs.


SALISBURY — Belgian grocer Delhaize Group will sell its Salisbury-based Harveys and Reid’s chains, as well as Tampa, Fla.-based Sweetbay, to Jacksonville, Fla.-based Bi-Lo Holdings for $265 million. The deal, which totals 165 stores, is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Delhaize is the parent of Salisbury-based Food Lion. 

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Bobcats will change its name to the Charlotte Hornets in the 2014-15 season. The NBA franchise (Rebound, October 2012) was founded in 2004 after the original Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans in 2002. New Orleans will change its name to the Pelicans next season.

DAVIDSON — All but two of Davidson College’s 21 sports will move to the Atlantic 10 Conference in July 2014. Wrestling will remain in the Southern Conference, which Davidson joined in 1936, and football will stay in the Pioneer Football League.

CHARLOTTE NewDominion Bank raised $10 million in capital, more than 85% of which came from the Charlotte region. The drive was in response to federal regulators telling the bank it needed to improve its balance sheet.

KANNAPOLIS — Billionaire Dole Foods Chairman David Murdock donated $50 million to the David H. Murdock Research Institute, which studies human health and nutrition as part of the North Carolina Research Campus. Murdock already had invested more than $700 million in the campus.

LINCOLNTON Borghetti Turbos North America will open a plant here, investing $3.7 million and hiring 127 within three years. The subsidiary of Brazil-based Borghetti Turbos makes auto parts such as turbochargers and compressors.

CHARLOTTE The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources sued Duke Energy in May, alleging coal ash from the company’s Riverbend Steam Station in Gaston County polluted Mountain Island Lake, which provides drinking water for parts of the region. It’s the first time the state has taken action against a utility for its handling of the waste.

MOORESVILLE Lowe’s will add more employee hours and increase inventory of popular items after executives acknowledged that the home-improvement chain made too many cutbacks during the recession. Its sales have lagged Atlanta-based rival Home Depot in recent years.

CHARLOTTE Wingate University will move its Matthews satellite campus to Ballantyne Corporate Park in south Charlotte in August. Its graduate schools and professional and continuing-education programs will be based there.

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