Recent News

More than $120 million in COVID relief money was returned, auditor finds

April 2, 2021

by Andrew Dunn, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — The federal government sent nearly $4 billion in COVID relief money to North Carolina, but a sizable chunk of it was returned, unwanted, a new report from the state auditor’s office finds. The report from State Auditor Beth Wood determined North Carolina’s budget office properly distributed the $3.6…

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Duke Energy responds to North Carolina Utilities Commission’s decision on Duke Energy Carolinas’ 2019 rate request

April 1, 2021

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy issued the following statement in response to today’s order by the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) on the rate adjustment request made by Duke Energy Carolinas on Sept. 30, 2019. Duke Energy worked with the NCUC, the North Carolina Public Staff, and other groups last spring to postpone the rate case proceedings…

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National Gypsum Company Announces New Digital Platform Launch

April 1, 2021

CHARLOTTE, N.C., — National Gypsum Company, the exclusive service provider of reliable, high-performance building products manufactured by its affiliate companies and marketed under the Gold Bond®, PermaBASE® and ProForm® brands, has launched a multi-website platform that provides an unmatched user experience for architects, contractors, remodelers, distributors, homeowners and other visitors. The new digital platform includes a family of…

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UNCW webinar: “COVID-19 and the Global Economy: A (Virtual) Roundtable, Discussion and Q&A with UNCW Faculty”

April 1, 2021

COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the world and the economy. UNCW’s Interdisciplinary Research Community in International Trade and Exchange and the Office of Research and Innovation will explore the effects during “COVID-19 and the Global Economy: A (Virtual) Roundtable, Discussion and Q&A with UNCW Faculty” at 3:30 p.m. on April 15.  The discussion will cover the pandemic’s…

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NFIB Key Votes Proposed NC Constitutional Amendment on Eminent Domain

April 1, 2021

RALEIGH — NFIB State Director Gregg Thompson says North Carolina’s leading small business advocacy organization is telling lawmakers it will “key vote” a proposed state constitutional amendment that would stop eminent domain abuse. SB 378 and HB 271 would put a state amendment on the 2021 general election ballot that would stop the government from…

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Piedmont Advantage Credit Union recognized for excellence in mortgage loan production

April 1, 2021

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., — For the third consecutive year, Piedmont Advantage Credit Union has been recognized by the Credit Union Mortgage Association (CUMA) for excellence in mortgage loan production in 2020. Piedmont Advantage’s Vice President of Lending Perry Crutchfield ceremoniously accepted the honor virtually on behalf of the credit union on Friday, March 26. A Credit Union Service Organization, CUMA…

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BEMC Accepting Bright Ideas Grant Applications From Teachers

March 31, 2021

Supply, N.C.  – Local educators can apply for a Bright Ideas grant from Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC) starting on April 1. The grants, offered annually to teachers to bring creative classroom learning projects to life, support innovative projects that energize classroom learning and enhance student success. Educators can learn more and apply online at www.ncbrightideas.com.…

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Southport Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce helps launch Thrift Shop Trail

March 31, 2021

Photo: Left to Right: Karen Sphar, Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce and Todd Beane, CIS Thrift Shop Operations Director holding a copy of the Thrift Shop Trail brochure. SOUTHPORT, N.C. – The Southport Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce doesn’t just help small businesses, they are supportive and creative in helping area retail businesses and…

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Recent Military Activity at ILM

March 31, 2021

Wilmington, NC (March 30, 2021)— ILM respects and values all our stakeholder’s and their interests.  We understand there have been some recent concerns from the surrounding community regarding the level of military activity at ILM and the subsequent noise levels.  Historically, after WWII, the federal government declared Bluethenthal Field surplus property and, under the Surplus Property…

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Duke Energy announces key leadership appointments

March 30, 2021

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) today announced it is expanding the company’s senior management team and realigning roles and responsibilities to further accelerate its clean energy transition and best position the company to grow and serve its customers and communities. The company also announced that Doug Esamann, executive vice president, energy solutions and…

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Rise in Counterfeit COVID-19 Vaccine Cards Causing Safety Concerns

March 30, 2021

New Uptick in Use of Falsified Documents to Show Proof of Vaccination Poses Risk for Travel, Business, Education WILMINGTON, N.C., Multiple news outlets across the U.S. are reporting a rise in counterfeit COVID-19 vaccine cards, leading to a 300% growth in advertisements on the dark web for such documentation since January. With people looking for falsified documents…

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WDI Announces First-ever Microloan Program for Small Businesses

March 30, 2021

Wilmington, NC – Wilmington Downtown, Inc. (WDI) is proud to announce the first microloan program for businesses to help increase access to needed funding for small businesses in the region’s central, commercial and emerging business districts. The new WDI microloan program is designed to help small businesses get access to startup funds, navigate the impacts…

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Business Advice & Expertise

Tough Love for the Entrepreneurs Can Hack the Complacent Startup Ecosystem

March 12, 2021

The startup ecosystem is a living and growing organism that most cities are trying to add to their modern economic development strategy for job creation. The startup ecosystem is typically a very positive kumbaya environment. There are lots of smiles around town while people with rose colored glasses are selling more commercial and residential real…

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How Changes in Purchasing Decisions Could Affect Your Business

March 11, 2021

Yesterday I was a last-minute speaker for a business group, filling in for a planned speaker who was under the weather. I had to put on my thinking cap and come up with an interesting topic with little time to spare. Given that we are now at the one-year anniversary of COVID-19’s initial impacts on…

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Owned Media: Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in a Basket Controlled by Someone Else

March 5, 2021

When I first entered the public relations profession shortly after college, we typically heard about two types of media: earned media and paid media. Thanks to technology-driven changes, social media and owned media have become increasingly prevalent communication tools in recent years. Paid media refers to tools such as traditional advertising and direct mail. While…

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Opinion & Commentary

‘Partisan’ Reading Bill Passes Easily

April 7, 2021

by John Hood RALEIGH — On March 31, the North Carolina Senate passed the hugely controversial SB 387, titled the Excellent Public Schools Act of 2021, by margin of 48 senators in favor, none opposed. The following day, the North Carolina House of Representatives took up the same SB 387, that same slapdash and extremely…

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OPINION: Political Fantasies Can Be Costly

April 5, 2021

by John Hood RALEIGH — It’s hard not to play along when children come up with cute untruths. For example, for a time one of my boys used to tell me confidently and matter-of-factly that if he didn’t go to bed, the moon would not rise. It was a reasonable conclusion based on his personal…

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OPINION: Broadband Needed for Small Business to Succeed Statewide

April 1, 2021

by Gregg Thompson Running a small business isn’t easy in the best of times, and these aren’t the best of times. Social distancing and concerns over spreading COVID-19 forced many small businesses to try to connect with customers online rather than in person, but here’s the catch:  Some businesses can’t easily do that.  I grew…

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