Business

Business
3:36 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Reed To Continue Trade Efforts In Brazil And Elsewhere

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
Credit City of Atlanta

Coming off a weeklong trip to Brazil, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said Thursday he wants to continue efforts to build relationships in South America and elsewhere through his second term.

Reed said he was stunned to learn business and government officials he came across in Brazil weren’t aware of Hartsfield airport and the connections between Atlanta and major global brands.

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Business
5:33 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Georgia State Finance Professor Skeptical on Weibo IPO

Lixin Huang is a finance professor at Georgia State Univ. He's skeptical about investing in Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
Credit Courtesy: Georgia State University

Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, goes public today.

It’s one of China’s most-visited websites.  Despite its popularity, analysts are watching to see if Weibo closes way low.

That’s because of users like Lixin Huang.  He’s one of 130-million active users the website claims as its customer base.  But he’s not exactly what you’d call “active.”

“I used it sometime last year when my friends were using it,” he says.

Huang, a finance professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta, now uses WeChat.  It’s growing at three times the rate of Weibo.

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Business
5:00 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Vidalia Onions Headed to Stores Ahead of State's Mandated Shipping Date

Farmers have been growing Vidalia onions in southeast Georgia since the 1930s. The sweet onions got their own trademark in 1986.

Whether you fry them, sauté them, or grill them, the battle over the Vidalia onions is heating up.

One of Georgia’s largest Vidalia onion growers is shipping his product today despite an order from the state agriculture commissioner to wait until next week. 

Delbert Bland farms some 3,000 acres of Vidalias in the southern part of the growing region. He says his crop is ready to go.

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New Rules
6:00 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Georgia's Highest Court Regulates Attorney Advertising

Credit Supreme Court of Georgia

The Supreme Court of Georgia is making changes to the way lawyers are allowed to advertise.

We have all heard the fast-talking ads: “If you’ve been hurt in a car wreck, call me. One call, that’s all.”

But if that fast-talking is too fast to understand, it will no longer be allowed under the new rules of professional conduct ordered by the Supreme Court of Georgia. Also against the new rules: tiny print so small you are unable read it and actors playing lawyers (or clients) without telling you they are actors.

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MARTA/Decatur Joint Venture
6:12 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Mixed Use Development Planned at Avondale MARTA Station

Avondale Station
Credit MARTA

MARTA and the City of Decatur are working together to develop land near the Avondale transit station into a mixed-used development.

The development will be located just south of the station on East Ponce de Leon Avenue. Initial plans call for more than 600 apartments, some 70 condominium units and 25,000 square feet of retail space. 20% of the apartments will be used for affordable housing.

When the Avondale station first opened, it was the end of the rail line, so MARTA built plenty of parking.

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Aviation
3:09 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Low Pilot Pay Sends Newbies Looking Elsewhere

Pilot Doug Fowler, fed up with low pay, quit an Atlanta-based regional airline. He now flies corporate customers out of DeKalb-Peachtree Airport.
Credit Jim Burress / WABE News

There’s a huge demand for pilots at the nation’s regional airlines. The Government Accountability Office says the small airlines need thousands of new pilots.

So you’d think lots of folks would be in line. After all, top captains at airlines like Atlanta-based Delta can pull in a cool quarter-million a year.

But starting salaries are sending some Atlanta pilots elsewhere.

Like Doug Fowler, who quit Atlanta-based regional carrier Atlantic Southeast Airlines (now ExpressJet), after nine months.  Just walked away.

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Business
12:12 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Hartsfield-Jackson Again Named World's Busiest Airport

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International is the top passenger airport on the planet.
Credit Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Atlanta is once again home to the busiest passenger airport in the world.

More than 94 million people passed through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2013, according to Airports Council International.

That traffic brought in $60 billion into the state and about $32 billion into metro Atlanta.

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Business
8:00 am
Sun March 30, 2014

Georgia Sees Boost in Women-Owned Businesses

Nancy Chorpenning is with the National Association of Women Business Owners.

  Georgia is the top state in the nation for the growth of women-owned businesses.

Last year there were more than 317,000 women-owned firms in Georgia, according to the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.

That's an 118-percent increase since 1997, according to the data, which was commissioned by American Express OPEN.

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Business
6:30 am
Fri March 28, 2014

State Appeals Ruling on Vidalia Shipping Date

The Georgia Department of Agriculture own the trademarks on Vidalia onions.

The court battle over when Vidalia onion growers can ship their crop is heating up.

As the onions ripen in the South Georgia soil, one farmer and the state’s agriculture commissioner will soon head back to court in Atlanta.

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11:48 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Why Does Google Want To Build Fiber Networks?

Lead in text: 
As Google Fiber looks to expand into Atlanta and other cities around the country, a question remains: why is Google doing this? Do they really want to become an internet provider like Comcast or AT&T? Mashable recently asked that question of several technology experts and got several different answers.
A little less than two years ago, Google laid out plans to roll out a new lightning-fast Internet network that would make buffering and load times a thing of the past. That dreamlike service had only been available in three cities to date: Kansas City, Austin and Provo, Utah.
Business
11:08 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Vidalia Onion Farmer Sues State Over Crop Shipping Date

The Vidalia onion is Georgia's official state vegetable.
Credit Wikipedia

A Vidalia onion farmer has taken the State of Georgia to court to be able to ship his crop when he wants to.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture owns the trademark on Vidalias. Each year, the state’s Agriculture Commissioner advises on a suggested starting date for shipping to ensure the quality of the onions.

But this year Commissioner Gary Black told the growers they all had to wait until April 21 to start shipping their crops.

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12:45 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Atlanta Led The Way In Electric Car Sales Growth Last Quarter

Lead in text: 
Electric vehicle charging company ChargePoint produces a quarterly ranking of U.S. cities by electric vehicle sales growth. In the fourth quarter of 2013, Atlanta led the country with a 52% increase in electric car sales during that period.
California has long led the way in the electric car market. The Northwest and Hawaii have also consistently topped the tables. However, the top metropolitan region for electric car sales growth in the 4th quarter wasn't in any of those states - it was in the Southeast!
Business
4:30 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Can The State Move Forward With The Savannah Port Expansion Without Feds' OK?

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal says the state will move forward with deepening the Port of Savannah, even though President Barack Obama did not include construction funding for the project in his budget proposal.

But can the state legally and financially undertake the task itself?

At issue is whether the state can move forward with dredging without authorization and construction funding from the federal government.

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3:23 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Georgia Was Third-Highest State In Major Movie Productions Last Year

Lead in text: 
The Wrap, a Hollywood-based movie industry trade journal, reports that an annual study of major movie production locations listed Georgia as the third-highest-ranking state for making movies in the U.S. Nine major movies were filmed in Georgia last year. First place went to Louisiana with 18 movies produced in the state, followed by California with 15 movies. The study found that Georgia's nine movies resulted in $261 million in production money being spent here. The report also says Georgia had 5,600+ credited jobs as a result of these movies. The study tracked 108 major films -- representing $7.6 billion in direct spending -- released in 2013 from six major studios and five well-known independent studios.
The Bayou State was top locale for Hollywood's major movies last year, according to a new report from FilmL.A. When it comes to major movies, California is no longer the world's production capital - that would be Louisiana, according to a new study released Thursday.
Business
12:22 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Southwest CEO on Future Merger: No Current Airline Like AirTran

Credit Dylan Ashe / via Wikimedia Commons

  Southwest Airlines continues its merger with AirTran Airways, which operates its main hub in Atlanta.

But not at the pace planned when the deal was announced in 2010.

Dallas-based Southwest never hinted the integration would be quick.  Initially, executives planned to finish it early this year.  

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly says high fuel prices partly slowed the process.

“The AirTran brand will be retired by the end of the year.”  

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Business
5:59 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Airport Overwhelmed as Flights Get Back to Normal

A passenger looks at the flight board Thursday at Hartsfield-Jackson. About half of Thursday's departures and arrivals were canceled, an airport spokesman said.
Credit Jim Burress

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International has been a virtual ghost town much of this week.  Delta, Southwest, AirTran and other carriers canceled thousands of flights. 

By Thursday, air travel in and out of Atlanta began a slow improvement. 

Security check lines were short by late morning, and travelers in the main atrium seemed calm even before a musical duo filled the area with smooth jazz.

“I thought there was going to be a lot more people here,” said Jessica Vickson of Peachtree City as she entered the main security checkpoint. 

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Business
1:45 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Atlanta Airport, Airlines, Prep for Winter Storm

Airlines, including Atlanta-based Delta, are asking travelers in and out of Hartsfield-Jackson to rebook their flights, if possible.
Credit Corey Seeman / http://www.flickr.com/photos/cseeman/7606634758/

Air travel through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport could get especially tricky as severe winter weather bears down on the area. 

Delta Air Lines spokesman Morgan Durrant says the Atlanta-based carrier will cancel “many” flights this week.

That's why Delta and other airlines are encouraging travelers coming in and out of Atlanta to shift their travel plans. Those who must travel should monitor Delta's website or mobile app, Durrant says. 

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Business
3:55 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

DeKalb Wants Residents' Input to End "Nightmare" Permitting Process

DeKalb interim CEO Lee May says residents should have a say in where the county goes in the coming years.
Credit Lee May

“DeKalb County Needs Your Feedback,” reads the headline on inserts stuffed alongside county water bills this month. 

The enclosed flier asks residents to offer ideas to include in DeKalb’s long-term strategic plan. 

“God knows this is something that’s never been done in DeKalb County," says DeKalb interim CEO Lee May. “This is our way of establishing who we are as a county, understanding our assets, and really writing a plan that brings all that together.”  

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Business
4:59 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

What Does The Farm Bill Mean For Georgians?

Credit Flickr/UGA College of Ag

(Story updated to include full audio interview with Society of St. Vincent Depaul--Georgia)

Crop insurance, peanut subsidies, corn production – they’re all part of the farm bill, signed today by President Barack Obama after two years of congressional debate.

Food stamps are the biggest slice of that nearly $1 trillion dollar pie, and that program is seeing a cut. Farmers will also see some changes under the new bill, primarily to crop insurance and subsidies.

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Business
5:58 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

UPS to Customers: We're Making Changes

UPS says with few exceptions it’s now caught up on metro Atlanta deliveries delayed by last week’s winter weather.

Even so, the Sandy Springs-based shipper continues to work how it handles weather delays.

Company spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg says the company understands it let down consumers.

“We listen to what customers say, and we actually are making changes," she says. 

Rosenberg says internally, UPS is looking at how it forecasts volume, its capacity to move shipments, and whether it needs to upgrade facilities.    

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Business
4:27 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

UPS Says It Will Deliver All Delayed Packages by End of Day Wednesday

UPS is scrambling to clear out a backlog of packages delayed, the company says, by bad weather.
Credit UPS

UPS is telling local customers it should deliver all delayed packages by the end of the day Wednesday.

The statement comes as the company continues to play catch-up after last week’s winter storm.

This week, the shipping giant has started a lot of its tweets with the word, “Sorry.”   

UPS suffered winter storm gridlock like the rest of metro Atlanta.  

As roads cleared, packages rushed in to the Atlanta sort facility faster than they could go out.

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Business
4:34 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Tech Ventures in Georgia Prosper As Health Care Law Kicks In

EndoChoice CEO Mark Gilreath.
Jim Burress WABE

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 7:36 pm

Georgia is fighting the health care law at every political turn.

Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, chose not to expand Medicaid, despite the increased federal funding made possible by the Affordable Care Act. And Ralph Hudgens, the state's insurance commissioner, publicly vowed to obstruct the law.

But that doesn't mean that Georgia isn't seeing some financial benefits from the law.

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Business
4:30 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Loehmann's To Shutter All Stores, Incluing Two Atlanta Spots

The Loehmann's store on Briarcliff Road is one of the many stores across the country to go out of business.
Credit Jaime Lee / WABE

Jill Rosenberg says she heard about Loehmann’s closing when her daughter, Jill Talbot, emailed her about it Thursday morning.

She said she’s shopped at the discount retailer for 50 years – since she was a teenager. So as a sort of last hurrah, the mother-daughter duo decided to spend their lunch break at the Loehmann’s off Briarcliff Road in Atlanta.

“This is a thing we do, so we had to do it one last time,” Rosenberg said. “We came here for her prom dresses and …”

“Graduation dresses,” Talbot chimed in, “wedding dresses. All the life events bring us here.”

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Business
12:02 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Delta to Fly Final DC-9 Flight

This DC-9 seen at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport was delivered new to North Central Airlines in 1978. Thanks to airline mergers, it was absorbed by Republic then Northwest. In 2008, Delta inherited the aircraft when it merged with Northwest.
Credit Jim Burress / WABE News

Delta Air Lines will fly the last scheduled passenger flight on a DC-9 Monday afternoon, ending a nearly half-century run for an aircraft credited with bringing jet service to most small and medium US cities.

Delta was the launch customer for the Douglas DC-9 back in in 1965.

In the early '90s, the Atlanta-based airline sold its fleet to smaller carriers.  

Many of the planes found their way to Northwest Airlines.  When Delta and Northwest merged in 2008, Delta suddenly found itself back with the model.

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Business
3:36 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

State Regulators Approve $900 Million Rate Hike for Georgia Power Customers

Credit Georgia Power

Georgia Power bills, once again, are going up.

The state Public Service Commission Tuesday approved a rate hike of $873 million over the next three years.

“All those in favor, say aye…Item R-5 passes unanimously,” said PSC Chairman Chuck Eaton.

After a phase-in period, Georgia Power's 2.4 million customers, on average, will be paying about $100 more annually than they are now.

The company says the extra funds are needed for infrastructure maintenance and complying with new, stricter clear air regulations.

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Airlines and Aviation
1:46 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Delta Leads Attempt at Fare Hike

Delta Air Lines is testing the market by adding $4-$10 per ticket, each way.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is hiking domestic ticket prices. 

FareCompare.com CEO Rick Seanyy says Delta is testing the waters by adding between $4 and $10  each way on domestic tickets.

Of the 12 attempted fare hikes this year, Delta has led eight. 

In order to stick, other carriers must also match the increase.  Otherwise, price-conscious shoppers will book on other airlines. That's happened just three times this year. 

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Business
10:43 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Equifax Warns Shoppers of Holiday "Cat and Mouse" Game Known as Identity Theft

The holiday shopping season is especially appealing to identity thieves.  That’s why Atlanta-based Equifax is warning consumers to be extra vigilant. 

“It’s a cat and mouse game at many levels with the thieves always one step ahead of the good guys," says Scott Mitic, a senior vice president with Equifax's consumer credit division.  

But consumers can limit their vulnerability.  Equifax recommends:

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Business
1:16 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

Delta, Not Hartsfield-Jackson, Leads Opposition Against Passenger Service at Paulding Co.

Plans to bring commercial service to Paulding County's "Silver Comet Field" have Delta, the City of Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson fighting the proposal. But mostly it's Delta.
Credit Courtesy: AccessPaulding.com

Delta Air Lines last month came out with gloves on when Paulding County announced plans to bring commercial air service to the north metro area.  

The Atlanta-based carrier isn’t hanging up those gloves just yet, although the airline wants to make clear its beef with Paulding County isn’t personal. 

Delta’s opposition isn’t even directly about Delta, says spokesman Trebor Banstetter.  Instead, it’s about Delta’s home turf.

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Business
5:08 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

More Thanksgiving Passengers Expected at Hartsfield-Jackson

Hartsfield-Jackson general manager Louis Miller (left) and Transportation Security Administration federal security director for Atlanta Mary Leftridge-Byrd hold a press conference Friday at Atlanta's airport. Like other airports, HJIA expects more passengers this Thanksgiving travel season.
Credit Jim Burress / WABE News

The unofficial holiday travel season kicks into full-gear Monday, and officials at Hartsfield-Jackson expect 1.8-million passengers will pass through the airport between Nov. 25th and Dec. 2nd.     

“We have our entire team here to do whatever we can to keep the traffic moving as quickly as possible,” HJIA general manager Louis Miller said at a press conference Friday.   

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Business
6:20 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Lufthansa Cargo Expands at Hartsfield-Jackson

Lufthansa is growing its cargo capacity out of Hartsfield-Jackson. Rather than add service, it replaced an older plane servicing the route with this new Boeing 777.
Credit Courtesy: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport officials are welcoming the expansion of an International airline there.  But it’s a flight you’ll never be able to fly.

That’s, unless, you’re a box. 

German carrier Lufthansa is replacing an older airplane used on the Atlanta to Frankfurt cargo route with a new, $270-million Boeing 777.

“The Lufthansa announcement for us was just huge," says airport general manager Louis Miller. The plane has "more capacity to go worldwide," he says.

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