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That's The Randle Report for Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Join us again tomorrow morning for all of the American South's business, economic development and political news in real time and in one place. Use the sort buttons or the search window above to find your favorite stories from yesterday, last week, last month or last year. Click on the headline to access Southern Business & Development magazine.
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Senate approves Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's free tuition plan
NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Haslam's signature proposal to create a program that would cover tuition at two-year colleges for any high school graduate is a step closer to the governor's desk. The Senate approved the plan 30-1 on Monday. The companion bill was scheduled to be heard on the House floor. Called "Tennessee Promise," the legislation is a cornerstone of Haslam's "Drive to 55" campaign to improve the state's graduation rates from the current 32 percent to 55 percent by 2025 to help improve overall job qualifications and attract employers to the state. Chattanooga Times Free Press
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Texas crude production hits highest level since 1980
HOUSTON — An index that measures oil and gas activity in Texas has reached a record level, bolstered by rising production and wellhead prices, its creators announced this week. The Texas Petro Index hit the record in February, buoyed by daily crude production levels that soared to the state’s highest level since 1980, said Karr Ingham, the economist who created the index. February crude production in Texas reached an estimated 77.2 million barrels — up 22.4 percent from the same time period in 2013. Houston Chronicle
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First known reproduction in 75 years of whooping cranes in Louisiana discovered
A nest with two whooping crane eggs has been identified near White Lake, Louisiana Secretary of Wildlife and Fisheries Robert Barham announced this morning during the North American Crane Workshop. The eggs mark the first known reproduction of whooping cranes in Louisiana since 1939, and the eggs could mean big things for the species that had no known existence in the state since 1950. During the last few years, 50 whooping cranes raised in captivity have been released in Louisiana as part of a project aimed at re-establishing the whooping crane population in the state. About 30 of those 50 cranes are still alive. The Advertiser
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Irving, Texas spends incentive dollars to lure two corporate headquarters and almost 2,000 jobs
Irving scored another big win this week with the planned move of airline American Eagle’s headquarters from Fort Worth. The corporate relocation news comes just a week after the city agreed to pay $10.6 million in economic incentives to lure 7-Eleven’s corporate headquarters from downtown Dallas. The American Eagle move is costing Irving about $7 million in freebies. American Eagle is moving into the former Epsilon campus on Regent Drive just south of LBJ Freeway. Dallas Morning News
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Texas feeling impact; power outages getting worse, study says
Americans are spending more and more time without power, according to a study by the research group Climate Central. A report released this morning by the New Jersey-based organization says the rate of major power outages increased tenfold over the last three decades. And Texans are feeling the impact. Between 2003 and 2012 the state was hit with 57 “major” outages, which are defined as impacting more than 50,000 customers. That worked out to an average of 800,000 homes or businesses a year losing their power at some point or another. Dallas Morning News
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Made in America: Tire makers pump billions into facilities with South Carolina getting a big piece of the pie
AKRON — Looking strictly at the rising import penetration of passenger and light truck tires in the U.S. replacement business, it might be easy to get the impression that tire manufacturing in the U.S. is a dying industry. But that impression couldn’t be further from the truth. Looking outside the low-cost radial and entry level tire markets — the majority of which are imported — new plants and expansion projects are popping up in various parts of the U.S., with South Carolina getting a large piece of the investment pie. Tirebusiness.com
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Profile - Ray Scott - Outdoors keeps paying off for B.A.S.S. founder
Decades after he sold the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, founder Ray Scott still has plenty of big ideas about how to make money doing what he loves. And he still knows how to bait a hook. “If someone wants to do something similar to what I’m doing, just get a good product and promote it,” Scott said. “There’s nothing complicated about it. Marketing skills are one thing, but it wouldn’t work without delivering the product.” The outdoor maven made his name with fishing tournaments, publications and television shows. But that wasn’t why a group from New York traveled to his Pintlala property last week. Montgomery Advertiser
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How business friendly is your community? Counting down a new ranking of Alabama cities
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – There's a new list of business friendly cities in Alabama, and the results might surprise you. That's because the top spots aren't dominated by the state's major population centers, the communities that often make headlines for landing the big corporate projects. No, this list from the Alabama Policy Institute, a Birmingham-based conservative think tank, is based on a broad set of criteria that aim to even the playing field among major metros and small towns. AL.com
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What riding on Air Force One is really like
I started covering the White House for The Washington Post about a month ago. But Friday was my first trip with the president -- and on Air Force One -- as he (and I) jetted to New York to deliver a speech (and for a date night with first lady Michelle Obama).
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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

Reshoring manufacturing capacity from primarily Asia to the South and Mexico is now a common thing to do and it's all about money. When China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, the average manufacturing wage in China's Pearl River Delta (PRD) was about 58 cents an hour.

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Dr. Glen Fenter
Desperation sometimes masks itself in acceptance. Such was the case for Takelia Carter of Marion, Ark. For Carter, the mother of six school-age children in a low paying job, desperation was normative existence. This was her life in Crittenden County, Ark., deep in the Delta where unfortunately one in four families lives well below the poverty level.
 

 Business News in the South - Randle Report

FEATURE     
By Mike Randle
There are numerous factors driving the new industrial revolution in the South. And it is a revolution, as this manufacturing surge that began in 2007 continues to break records year after year in the total number of large, capital intensive projects. One factor, of course, is that reshoring of facilities back to the U.S. continues to grow each year.
 
 Nashville Mayour Karl Dean

We try to change up the categories in our annual Ten Top 10s section, but we always include the "Ten People Who Made a Difference" category. This year though, we are honoring 12 and you will learn why by reading about this group of folks who have made a difference in the South. Here is our annual list that includes executives, economic developers and politicians who have made a difference in the South's economy.


 


 

 

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