CAROLINA COAST: NC ports partners with Scoular to expand agriculture opportunities

The North Carolina State Ports Authority announced it is expanding capabilities to help support the state’s agriculture through a new partnership with the company Scoular. According to a release, N.C. Ports received approval Tuesday from the N.C. Council of State for a land lease to develop an agricultural transload facility on the Port of Wilmington.

Economic Development

BUSINESS FACILITIES: American Fuji Seal To Create 101 Jobs In North Carolina

American Fuji Seal Inc, will invest at least $52 million to establish new production operations in Catawba County, NC. The packaging solutions provider plans employ up to 101 workers by 2025 at its new site in Hickory. Bardstown, KY-based American Fuji Seal is part of Japan’s Fuji Seal International and also maintains locations in Indiana and Mexico.


THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Majority of NC students are back to virtual classes due to COVID-19 spike

The post-holiday COVID-19 spike has led to a majority of North Carolina public school students returning to receiving only online classes instead of in-person instruction. At least 52 of North Carolina’s 115 school districts have reverted to only offering remote instruction, according to a News & Observer review of a school reopening database maintained by the N.C. School Boards Association.

ABC 11: Some students struggle with remote learning as COVID-19 metrics worsen statewide

School districts are taking a cautious approach over a return to in-person instruction, as COVID-19 metrics worsen statewide. While many students now have a better handle on remote instruction, that doesn't mean it's been an easy transition.

WRAL: UNC-Chapel Hill to cut personnel, spending to address pandemic losses, long-term deficit

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has laid out plans to cut personnel costs by 3 percent and operating expenses by 15 percent over the next two years to make up losses incurred during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a "structural deficit" the school has had for several years.


US NEWS & WORLD REPORT: NC Legislature Opens Session Subdued Amid Virus, DC Unrest

Amid worries about COVID-19 and physical security, the North Carolina General Assembly officially began its two-year session Wednesday, with much of the usual pomp subdued in the name of safety. The gavels went down at midday on a House and Senate that remained in Republican hands after the November elections.


Wake County is asking for patience after its COVID-19 vaccine sign-up system crashed minutes after opening Tuesday morning. “Our phone(line) and website are temporarily overwhelmed,” Stacy Beard, a county spokeswoman, wrote in an email to The News & Observer.

WLOS: Slow vaccine distribution could hinder future supply in NC

COVID-19 vaccination distribution is moving faster in North Carolina now than in prior weeks, but more than half of the state’s doses remain unadministered — a lag that could harm the state’s ability to receive vaccine doses in the future under new regulations by the federal government.

WRAL: Could NC be moving past post-holidays spike in coronavirus cases?

Health experts worried about an explosion in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations following Christmas and New Year's Day, as people ignored recommendations against traveling and gathering for the holidays. Those dire predictions have come to pass, with North Carolina's pandemic metrics steadily climbing in recent weeks.


CBS17: Ex-Rep. Batch, Knightdale Mayor Roberson heading to NC General Assembly

A recently defeated state legislator and a small-town mayor were formally appointed on Monday to fill vacancies at the North Carolina General Assembly just before the new session convenes this week. Wake County Democratic activists meeting over the weekend picked former Rep. Sydney Batch and Knightdale Mayor James Roberson to fill the vacancies.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: As NC legislators return, all eyes will be on how to manage education amid COVID

The North Carolina General Assembly is coming back for its long session, when it decides the two-year state budget and key priorities, including one that has gotten more attention than ever amid COVID-19: education.


WRAL TECH WIRE: High-tech jobs surge in Raleigh as IBM, Oracle, Cisco up hiring, report says

Demand for high-tech workers remains very strong in the Raleigh-Cary area even as openings across the state dipped slightly in December, a new report shows. And big tech is hiring. IBM, Oracle and Cisco are leading the demand for new talent, but many other firms of all sizes are beefing up tech staffs for the COVID-19 influenced economy.


SPECTRUM NEWS 1: Panel Recommends Raising N.C. Revenues for Transportation 40%

A blue-ribbon panel called Friday on North Carolina to boost transportation spending by 40% through the next decade to improve its “mediocre” infrastructure of highways, railroads and transit as the state grows and current revenue sources dwindle.

TRANSPORTATION TODAY: Report: Airports contribute $61B, 373,000 jobs to North Carolina economy A new report from the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation finds that North Carolina’s publicly owned airports contribute $61 billion to the state’s economy each year and supports 373,000 jobs. Additionally, airports and aviation-related jobs create $15 billion in personal income and more than $2.5 billion in state and local tax revenues each year, the report said.