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Hampton Roads, Va. could become commercial hub for drone industry
In Hampton Roads, the word "drone" has usually referred to unmanned military aircraft. But given shrinking defense budgets, local companies would like to take this technology to U.S. commercial markets. Businesses want to use drones — unmanned aircraft controlled by computer programs or remote control — for a variety of purposes, including agriculture, filmmaking, inspections, marketing, search and rescue efforts and even delivery. News of Amazon's experiments with drone delivery has helped the public understand the potential of the industry in Virginia, State Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson said. Hampton Roads, with its history in unmanned aviation with NASA Langley, NASA Wallops and the military, could become a commercial hub for the growing industry. Daily Press
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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After the McDonnell verdict: More indictments?
Most people seem to agree that Bob and Maureen McDonnells’ convictions on multiple federal counts of corruption marked a sad day for the family and for Virginia, a reflection of both the McDonnells’ poor judgment and the commonwealth’s weak and confusing laws about gifts to public officials. All well and true, but that reaction misses the deeply chilling implications of the federal government’s prosecution of the former Virginia governor and his wife. And it ignores the potentially devastating consequences for many of the state’s top elected leaders from recent decades. If the precedent set in this case is followed to its only just and logical conclusion, federal prosecutors must investigate leaders if they received personal gifts from individuals who subsequently benefited from the recipients’ official acts. Richmond Times-Dispatch
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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The Maverick of the South: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Texas Gov. Rick Perry
If you call Gov. Rick Perry's office and are placed on hold, part of what you will hear is this: "Howdy, this is Rick Perry, and while you're waiting for a member of my team to get back to you, I'd like to talk to you about something we know how to do in Texas: create jobs. Since 2000, nearly one-third of the jobs in the United States were added right here in Texas," Perry says. The Governor's numbers are off because the recorded message is a little outdated. Texas has created more than one-third of the jobs in the country since January 1, 2001. Even more, the recession officially ended in summer of 2009, however, the national low point for private-sector employment in the U.S. was in February 2010. Since then, Texas has created about 1.4 million new jobs. The closest Southern competitor is Florida with about 700,000 new jobs. No other Southern state has created more than 300,000 since February of 2010. Southern Business & Development
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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Mark Ruffalo touts Houston electricity plan
WASHINGTON — The oil industry may know actor Mark Ruffalo better for his role fighting hydraulic fracturing, rather than his big screen roles in “The Kids Are All Right” and “The Avengers.” The actor-turned-activist’s fight against fracturing has earned him plenty of industry ire and even landed him a spot on a government terror advisory list. But on Tuesday, Ruffalo bestowed a compliment on the oil industry — or, at least, on the city it calls home. “This is a wonderful irony,” he said, in a conference call with reporters. “Houston, Texas is literally the capital of the fossil fuel industry in the world, and their municipality right now is drawing 50 percent of its power right now from clean energy.” Fuel Fix
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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Does Bobby Jindal believe in evolution? He’d rather not say
Speaking at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, Republican governor of Louisiana and likely future presidential candidate Bobby Jindal repeatedly dodged reporters’ attempts to get an on-the-record answer to his views on that most basic of questions — whether a force called evolution led to humanity’s present form, or whether mankind was crafted mere thousands of years ago in God’s own image. Salon
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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Proposed Texas site for Tesla factory falls short
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Officials with Tesla Motors visited Williamson County at least eight times over six months as they sought a site for the company's $5 billion battery factory, going as far as hiring an Austin lawyer to negotiate in a series of meetings with local and state officials. lasvegassun.com
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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Should we ban states and cities from offering big tax breaks for jobs?
Tesla announced earlier this month that it's planning to build a $5 billion lithium battery factory just outside of Reno, which sounds good for Nevada and bad for losing bidders California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. So how did Nevada beat out so many competitors? Washington Post
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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Op-Ed Want to deplete your tax base? Give 'job creators' what they want
They say the house always wins, but the state of Nevada is letting Tesla walk away with the store. Back in June, the electric car company and its partner Panasonic broke ground outside Reno for a multibillion-dollar “gigafactory.” As the company described it to its shareholders, “processed ore from mines will enter by rail car on one side, and finished battery packs will exit on the other.” But then it held out the possibility that it might break ground at other sites in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas too — and that the factory's ultimate location would depend on what kind of “relevant incentives” states put on the table. The ante, Tesla said, would start at $500 million. Los Angeles Times
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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Is an Arkansas Republican Responsible for Spread of Ebola and did a Democrat Vote to Give Social Security Benefits to Illegal Immigrants? Of Course not…except in Campaign Ads
The U.S. Senate race in Arkansas has become one of the most important among this year’s election races, and one of the most muddy as both sides have slung some serious political distortions. First, it was incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor’s turn. His campaign put out an ad that told voters his challenger, Republican Tom Cotton, had helped encourage the spread of the Ebola virus through his legislative actions. This was “mostly false,” according to PolitiFact. Cotton did initially vote against the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013, which provided funding to fight pandemics including Ebola. However, he did vote for the version of the bill passed by the Senate and it became law. Allgov.com
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

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Obama’s claim that businesses are in the ‘longest uninterrupted stretch of job creation’
During Obama’s address to the nation on the threat posed by the terrorist group that calls itself the Islamic State, he suddenly turned to domestic issues and offered this interesting claim. Is he correct? Washington Post
Submitted 1 years 343 days ago

 

 

 

Features & Opinion

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

For those who still languish over "losing to China" or believe that the economy is still in recession, wake up and smell the data. Economic development in the South was about as good as it gets in calendar year 2015 according to the data. And as for China, borrowing a quote from the late football coach Bear Bryant that he made in the half-time locker room down 15-0 to Georgia Tech in 1960, "We got 'em right where we want 'em." For those of you who don't know the rich history of Alabama Crimson Tide football, Bama scored all of its 16 points in the fourth quarter, kicking a field goal on the last play of the game to beat Tech 16-15.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Mike Randle
Today, factories in the U.S. make twice as much product as they did in 1984. And they are doing it with one-third of the manufacturing workforce. In fact, the output of durable goods in 2015 was the highest in the nation's history. So, we do have a strong manufacturing base, at least in the South, much of the Midwest and parts of the West, and it is getting stronger because on a cost-basis, we can compete with any major manufacturing nation in the world.  
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

FEATURE     
The argument for or against a minimum wage hike continues between the reds and the blues, as well as within the economic development community in the South. Should we stay the course with a minimum wage under $8 an hour to better compete with Mexico, the South's biggest competitor for jobs, or set a minimum wage just over $10 an hour, a wage floor most centrists support? That $10 per hour is, according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, about right in most states in the South for one adult to be able to cover basic expenses plus all relevant taxes.
 
 Randle Report - Business News in the South
Recent data from the Computing Technology Industry Association (Comp TIA) showed that the technology industry is one of the fastest growing job generators in the South and the nation. The report also indicated that technology job compensation is growing faster than any other sector.
 


 

 

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