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Cleco to Be Bought by Infrastructure Investor Group for $3.4 Billion
Cleco Corp. agreed to be acquired by a group of infrastructure investors for about $3.4 billion. The Louisiana-based power company’s shares rose 9.4% to $52.83 in recent trading. Wall Street Journal
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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$11 Billion Later, High-Speed Rail Is Inching Along
WASHINGTON — High-speed rail was supposed to be President Obama’s signature transportation project, but despite the administration spending nearly $11 billion since 2009 to develop faster passenger trains, the projects have gone mostly nowhere and the United States still lags far behind Europe and China. New York Times
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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American Horror Story: Why U.S. Broadband Is Sooo Sloooow
By global standards, U.S. broadband speeds are slow—and getting slower. In Akamai's worldwide ranking of Internet speeds, the U.S. recently dropped from 12th place to 14th, lapped by Denmark, Norway ... and Romania. True, in absolute terms, U.S. speeds are still edging upward. In the second quarter, for instance, average broadband speeds in this country rose to 11.4 megabits per second (Mbps), up from 10.5 Mbps in the previous quarter. That's the good news. Bad news is, the rest of the world is getting even faster Readwrite.com
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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Getting to a gig: Why cities need high-speed broadband now
While there are real disagreements in principle that divide Republicans and Democrats, one issue that should unite all of us is that next-generation broadband is essential, 21st century infrastructure. As mayors, we share the conviction that high-speed Internet will be a central catalyst for the success of our cities in the decades to come. It is this belief that propelled our cities to become “gigabit communities” before most Americans even knew what a gigabit was. The Hill
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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New Orleans' Post-Katrina Identity Crisis
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana--Hotel rooms are booked. The convention center is packed. Throngs of revelers spill out of jazz clubs on Frenchmen Street. New Orleans is alive and thriving. Or so it seems. Nearly a decade has passed since Hurricane Katrina flooded the city and displaced more than 400,000 New Orleanians. Billions of federal dollars have poured in to rebuild the Big Easy, along with thousands of volunteers and immigrant day laborers. Now the city boasts several Forbes top rankings, such as #1 Brainpower City and Fastest Growing City Since the Recession. But away from the French Quarter, New Orleans is not the same place it once was. The famously African-American city has gotten whiter and more Hispanic. Townhouses have popped up where housing projects once stood, pushing poor, black residents to the suburbs to find cheaper rent--or to homeless camps under the city's highways. National Journal
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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Jobs forecast bright for Louisiana
BATON ROUGE, La. — Work on $103 billion in industrial development and expansion is the primary factor in Louisiana's expected job growth of 66,700 over the next two years, LSU economists reported. The Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas can expect the largest job gains for 2015-16. Star-telegram.com
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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Electrolux buoyed by US growth
Growth in the U.S. and efficiency gains in Europe helped Swedish home-appliance maker Electrolux post a 42 percent jump in third-quarter profits. The company said Monday that it made a net profit in the July to September period of 933 million kronor ($130 million) as revenue swelled 6 percent to 28.8 billion kronor. Electrolux CEO Keith McLoughlin told The Associated Press said he was "quite pleased with the result in what could be characterized as challenging macro conditions." Star-telegram.com
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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First Wind, Now Gas: Tax Breaks Face Scrutiny
Susan Combs, the state comptroller, stirred controversy last month when she said Texas’ growing wind energy industry should “stand on its own two feet.” “Billions of dollars of tax credits and property tax limitations on new generation helped grow the industry, but today they give it an unfair market advantage over other power sources,” said Combs, a Republican, upon the release of a study meant to illustrate how energy policy affects Texans’ wallets. Texas Tribune
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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Tennessee music execs seek state incentive
NASHVILLE — Seeking to stem the tide of recording studios shuttering and jobs vanishing, a group of influential music industry executives from Nashville and Memphis pitched state officials in August on an economic incentive program for film, television and video game scoring work. Commercialappeal.com
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

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Hankook breaks ground on Tennessee tire plant
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.—Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, calling it a “wedding of an extraordinary company and an incredible community,” helped Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. mark the start of construction on its $800 million car and light truck tire plant on Oct. 9 near Clarksville, in north central Tennessee. Rubbernews.com
Submitted 2 years 95 days ago

 

 

 

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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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