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Four Years Later, a Sharp Divide on Gulf Oil Spill
The state of the Gulf of Mexico four years after the worst oil spill in U.S. history is as unclear as a marsh soaked with petrochemicals. The state of BP, on the other hand, is powerful and proud, with the British energy giant showing little tolerance for criticism over the incident. A spate of reports and press releases leading up to the anniversary of the disaster, which took place April 20, 2010, sketch a picture of a region still awash in oil and tar, with fish and wildlife struggling to survive and thousands of people suffering from both economic and physical or mental distress. Those assessments stand in stark contrast to BP's declaration last week that "active cleanup" is complete and ongoing restoration work "is helping the Gulf return to its baseline condition, which is the condition it would be in if the accident had not occurred." The National Journal
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Virginia ports post profit after 7 straight months of losses
The port of Hampton Roads continued its record pace for container cargo volume in March and squeaked out its first monthly operating profit since July, Virginia Port Authority officials said Monday. The port handled the equivalent of 197,834 20-foot containers in March, up about 10 percent from 179,518 in the same month last year, the Port Authority said. That pushed container volume to a record 544,629 for the first three months of the year, up 7 percent from the year before, the authority noted. Virginian-Pilot
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Thawing out: Warmer temperatures lift US economy
Spring’s thaw is reviving the economy, too. A recent batch of government and business reports show a U.S. economy emerging from winter’s deep freeze. Economists had expected growth to accelerate in 2014 after two years of slow and steady improvement. But an unusually bitter winter sent factories, hiring and consumer spending into hibernation. Now, as temperatures rise, the economy is regaining momentum. Factories are busier. Consumers are spending more. Banks are making more loans to businesses. Companies have bigger plans to invest in plants and equipment. And the improvement appears to be widespread across the country. Richmond Times-Dispatch
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Gov. Terry McAuliffe crosses 100-day threshold
RICHMOND — Gov. Terry McAuliffe hit the high notes, and some of the more mundane ones, Monday as he listed dozens of accomplishments from his first 100 days in office. The governor marked the occasion with a morning speech to state agency heads and planned a reception later in the day to thank state employees for their hard work. He particularly singled out Virginia Department of Transportation and emergency workers who kept the state moving during this winter's snow storms. Daily Press
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AT&T could bring super-fast Internet to metro Atlanta
AT&T is looking to build new fiber optic networks for “ultra-fast” broadband service in Atlanta and dozens of other cities. AT&T’s new service, for consumers and businesses, is called AT&T U-Verse with GigaPower, the company announced Monday. Customers will see Internet download speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, about 100 times faster than what U.S. consumers typically get with broadband. U-Verse TV is also provided via the service. The move comes as emerging competitor Google seeks to expand 2-year-old Google Fiber, a 1-gigabit-per-second service in Kansas City. Earlier this year, Google Fiber sought information from Atlanta and eight nearby cities to help it determine whether to add Google Fiber service. Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Andy Berke calls on Tennessee to re-offer incentives to Volkswagen
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke today called on Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam to “immediately” put state incentives back on the table for a potential expansion at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant. “The first line created over 12,000 jobs in our area. We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines and watch this opportunity go elsewhere,” Berke said in a statement. Chattanooga Times Free-Press
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Durham City Council approves incentives for new $85M skyscraper, renovation of Jack Tar motel, buildings downtown
For about an hour Monday night, the Durham City Council had been discussing whether to grant $3.9 million in economic incentives for an ambitious, even transformative construction project dubbed the City Center—a new 26-story skyscraper at Main and Corcoran streets, plus renovating the former Jack Tar motel and five buildings on Parrish and Main streets. Indyweek.com
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Austin Considers Film Incentives
Texas has economic incentives to encourage film, TV and video game projects to move to the Lone Star State. Last Thursday, staff from Austin's Economic Development Department briefed council on their plans for a Creative Content Incentive Program as a way to keep that new production within city limits. Austin Chronicle
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With UAW's appeal withdrawn, what's next for the Chattanooga VW plant?

WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather
wrcbtv.com
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UAW’s case in Tennessee wasn’t solid, labor expert says
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The United Auto Workers had reason to abandon — at least temporarily — its drive to establish itself at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen plant. But, a labor expert said, union officials may never say why the UAW backed out. There’s more to the story than what union President Bob King has said publicly, according to Patrick Semmens, spokesman for the National Right to Work Foundation. The foundation defended the interests of five VW employees who opposed the union’s involvement there. Watchdog.org
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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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