11:14 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Georgia Welcomes Fourth Kroger Marketplace

The new Kroger Marketplace debuted in Athens, GA this week.
Athens Clarke County Economic Development Department

Bulldog Nation has a new place for its tailgating needs.  

The Kroger Company opened a Kroger Marketplace in Athens on Wednesday.  

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12:42 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Ten-Acre Development Proposed for Piedmont/Lindbergh Area in Buckhead

A view of the proposed Lindbergh Place development.
Credit Fuqua Development / Special to WABE

One local developer is hoping the second time is the charm.

Fuqua Development has proposed a 10-acre project near the Lindbergh MARTA station.

  The plan includes an 80,000 square foot Kroger Fresh Fare.

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11:32 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Security Breach at Four UPS Stores in Georgia

Four Georgia UPS Stores Inc. are linked to a security breach.
Credit The UPS Store Inc.

From January through August, customer information at 51 UPS Stores in 24 states may have been compromised.

“We under that this type of incident can be disruptive and we apologize for any anxiety that this has caused,” says UPS Store spokeswoman Chelsea Lee.

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6:00 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Redevelopment Of Fort Gillem Gets Started

Redevelopment of a portion of the former Fort Gillem base in Forest Park gets underway. A Kroger distribution center is scheduled to open on the property in Fall of 2015.
Credit Michelle Wirth / WABE

A groundbreaking ceremony for a more than one million square foot distribution center for Kroger took place Tuesday on a former army base in Forest Park. State and local leaders say it’s the first step to turning the Fort Gillem property into a major distribution hub for the metro area and the Southeast.

  Rain poured as state lawmakers, local leaders, Kroger executives and Governor Nathan Deal gathered at the former army base for the groundbreaking. Governor Deal said locating the center on the more than 1,000 acre Fort Gillem property is a major accomplishment.  

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12:46 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Small Biz Optimism Up, Kinda

Small business owners think the economy is improving, if only slightly.

The National Federation of Independent Business latest survey shows small business owners’ optimism rose a fraction of a percent in July to 95.7.

The NFIB sampled 1,645 random small businesses.

WABE sampled two, including Jake Rothschild, founder of Jake’s Ice Cream at the Irwin Street Market.

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6:00 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Georgia Chamber Supports Including Atlantic In Plan That Could Lead To Offshore Drilling

Credit Georgia Chamber

The Georgia Chamber is in favor of including the Atlantic Continental Shelf in the U.S. Interior Department's five-year lease plan for oil and natural gas between 2017 and 2022. The Atlantic Continental Shelf includes the area off Georgia’s coast and has been closed to offshore drilling and exploration for more than 30 years.

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11:57 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Delta Tops Annual Travel-Based Survey's 2014 ranking of U.S. airlines. This chart shows the overall performance ranking (column #2) and each airline's ranking in each category.
Credit Robert Aaron/WABE / Source data:

  Times have changed for Delta……in a good way.

In 2012, the company came in last in Airfarewatchdogdotcom’s annual rankings.

Some analysts say Delta's 2008 merger with Northwest played a factor.

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11:59 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Georgia Enjoying Profits from Entertainment Industry

Georgia is becoming bigger within the entertainment industry.
Credit Lee Thomas / Ga. Department of Economic Development

Georgia is becoming the entertainment capital of the South.

State officials say there's a lot of “Lights, Camera and Action” taking place in Georgia.....and that’s bringing a lot of cash into the state.

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5:03 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Audit Shows Lucrative Airport Contract Lacks Enforceable Performance Standards

Credit Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

A lucrative agreement between Atlanta’s airport and its contractor in charge of parking lacks basic customer service incentives and penalties, according to a recently released audit by the city of Atlanta.

Hartsfield-Jackson Airport signed the contract with Chicago-based Standard Parking in 2009. It’s a big contract: Standard Parking manages 33,000 parking spaces and is responsible for nearly a quarter of the airport’s revenue – roughly $117 million.

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Airlines and Aviation
5:26 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Low Cost Carriers See Atlanta as New Frontier

Low cost carriers Frontier and Spirit see Atlanta as a growth market.

  Atlanta as an airline market is changing.

For years, AirTran’s low cost and low fare structure kept local airfares in check.

But since Dallas-based Southwest has absorbed AirTran, prices here are going up.

And that means low cost carriers are seeing Atlanta as a new frontier.

“Clearly, the change in the competitive dynamics in the marketplace have benefited us,” says Daniel Shurz, a senior vice president with Denver-based Frontier Airlines. 

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4:18 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

A Tax-Free Weekend Ahead

A list of examples of what clothing is and is not tax-free this weekend.
Robert Aaron/WABE

Expect stores to be a little more crowded on Friday and Saturday.  That’s because many Georgians will take advantage of the state’s annual back-to-school tax-free weekend. 

  For roughly 48-hours, Georgians will be able to stock up on school supplies, computers and clothing without having to pay state and local taxes on those items. 

Nick Genesi is a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Revenue.

“Whether you are a teacher, whether you are a student or whether you’re a parent anytime you can save some money, it’s a good thing.”

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12:37 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Beazer Homes Reports Loss for 3Q

Despite an improving home building market, Atlanta-based Beazer Homes Thursday reported an overall loss for the third quarter of its fiscal year. 

Beazer says it earned $6.6-million dollars for the quarter that ended June 30th. But factor in a $19.8-million loss due to debt restructuring, and the national home builder fell short of analyst expectations.

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4:30 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Savannah Port Posts Record Year

The Savannah Port has posted a record year in individual units and total tonnage moved, according to the Georgia Ports Authority.

The port handled more than 3.14 million 20-foot container units and 29.4 million tons of freight in the 2014 fiscal year, which ended in June.

The Georgia Ports Authority says that’s a 6.3 and 8 percent increase, respectively, compared to last year. It’s also the first time the port moved more than 3 million container units.

Port Authority Director Curtis Foltz attributes the gains in part to an improving economy.

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Airlines and Aviation
1:52 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Delta's ATL Hub Helps Boost Strong Profits

Credit Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines Wednesday posted double-digit profit gains for the June quarter and beat Wall Street's profit expectations. 

Everything seems to be going right at the Atlanta-based airline, at least from a balance sheet perspective. More passengers boarded Delta aircraft, and they paid a higher premium to do so.  

Delta says it earned $889-million during April, May and June. That’s a 17-percent increase over the same period a year ago.  

During an investor webcast, Delta president Ed Bastian said Atlanta was one of the airline’s bright spots.

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11:29 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Delta Halts Service to Israel, Citing Safety Concerns

Credit Delta Air Lines

  Delta Air Lines has suspended all service to Israel.  

According to a written statement from the Atlanta-based carrier, the decision comes after reports that a rocket and associated debris was seen near Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.

That forced a Delta flight from New York to be diverted to an airport in Paris on Tuesday.

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12:01 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Deloitte Opening Software Center in Atlanta

Deloitte picks Atlanta over six other metro areas for its new iLab.
Credit Deloitte

Atlanta's profile in the tech world is getting another boost.

Deloitte is expected to open an "iLab" in the downtown area later this year.

That's where the financial and consulting firm will develop cloud-based software and advanced analytics products for its Fortune 250 clients.

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4:56 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Teavana Leaving Atlanta for Seattle

Since its founding in 1997, Teavana has called Atlanta home. But that's about to change.  Starbucks, which purchased Teavana for $620-million in 2012, is moving the retailer's operations to its Seattle base. 

“I think it was just a matter of time before they would consolidate those operations," says ITG restaurant analyst Steve West. "There’s really a lot more international potential for tea rather than coffee.”

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3:47 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Delta Routing Planes Around Ukrainian Airspace

Credit Delta Air Lines

In the wake of the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 over the Ukraine today, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines says it's stopped routing flights through Ukrainian airspace out of "an abundance of caution." 

From Delta:

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6:00 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Scammers Posing as Georgia Power Calling for Gift Card Payments

Callers pretending to be debt collectors from the Georgia Power Company are targeting customers in Atlanta's northern suburbs.

A well-known phone scam is cropping back up in Atlanta’s northern suburbs, and the scammers are using the Georgia Power Company as their alias.

Georgia Power says it has heard from more than 500 customers since the first of the year that they have gotten phone calls about their power bills being overdue or their payments lost in the mail.

“The caller tells the customer to go to a store that sells money cards,” says Georgia Power’s Carol Boatright. She says the utility does call customers about overdue bills but does not ask them to pay them off with debit or gift cards.

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Real Estate
5:10 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Atlanta Housing Market Bucks National Trend

The hot real estate market is cooling across the nation, as buyers are becoming less willing to engage in bidding wars for available property. That’s according to real estate company Redfin.

But Atlanta? 

“Atlanta actually is different," says Nela Richardson, Redfin's Chief Economist. "We’re seeing big differences.”

Unlike most of the US, it’s still a sellers’ market here.

Richardson says there are several reasons , including low inventory of homes on the market. But the main reason: it’s still cheap to buy in Atlanta.

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7:22 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

The Good/Bad of Atlanta's Hotel Pricing

Credit Pablo Henderson

Metro Atlanta is among the most affordable markets in the nation for a hotel room, according to discount travel site

The site looked at the top-10 most reserved cities on its website, and ranked them by average nightly price.

Atlanta visitors pay about $75, the website says.  That puts it square in the middle--#5.

In comparison, Orlando is the cheapest -- $56 a night. St. Louis came in the most expensive, at $92.

Whether that’s good or bad depends on whom you ask.

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6:19 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Business Leaders Gather To Consider Proposed New Carbon Regulations

Plant Scherer in Juliette, Georgia was the single largest carbon polluter in the country in 2013, according to Environment America.

An effort to help the state comply with newly proposed federal clean air regulations brought local business leaders to downtown Atlanta Thursday.

A national coalition of environmental groups called the Climate Action Campaign organized the meeting.

David Gardner works with the Climate Action Campaign. He says reducing carbon emissions doesn’t have to be a drain on a company’s bottom line.

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11:09 am
Thu June 26, 2014

IKEA to Implement "Living Wage" at 38 U.S. Locations

Workers at Atlanta's IKEA will be among those in 38 US stores to see a bump in minimum compensation.

IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer, is changing the way it calculates wages for workers at its 38 U.S. locations.

The company says it will pay workers a living wage instead of a minimum one.

IKEA says the change will bump the average minimum hourly wage in its stores to $10.76. That’s more than $3.50 higher than the federal minimum wage.  

Rob Olson, president of IKEA US, tells WABE he sees it as a "Win-Win-Win." 

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5:51 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

CNBC Ranks Georgia As Top State For Business

CNBC logo
Credit William Hartz, CNBC News via /

  CNBC says Georgia is the top U.S. state for business this year.

Georgia received the number one ranking after coming in first in the study in workforce and infrastructure. The state also ranked in the top half in all but two of the study’s ten categories. Scott Cohn is a senior correspondent with CNBC. He says Georgia went from eighth in last year’s study to first this year.

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Airlines and Aviation
5:47 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Delta, Boeing on Opposite Sides of Export-Import Bank Debate

Credit Jim Burress / WABE News

The Federal Export-Import Bank is in place to finance international buyers' purchases of U.S. Goods.  Its charter is before Congress for re-authorization, which is proving to be a polarizing and politicized process. 

It's also put Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines sqarely against Boeing, the airline's largest aircraft supplier. 

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2:36 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Georgia Premiums on Federal Insurance Exchange Among Lowest

Dan Tzros was Georgia's first licensed navigator. In this archive picture, he attempts to enter the healthcare marketplace online portal.
Credit Jim Burress / WABE

Georgians are paying some of the lowest premiums in the nation for insurance on the federal healthcare marketplace, according to data released Wednesday by the federal Dept. of Health and Human Services.

  The data compared 35 states that opted to let the federal government run their exchanges. 

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Atlanta Prices Up From Last Week
12:24 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Instability in Iraq Leading to Higher Gas Prices

An Exxon station showing Atlanta's high gas prices.
Credit Evan Jang / WABE

Gas prices are going up again.

The average price in metro Atlanta today for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.61, and increase of about four cents per gallon from a week ago.

Mark Jenkins, with the American Automobile Association, says increases right now depend on the unstable situation in Iraq. “If there’s a resolution reached relatively soon, then gas prices could start to level out again,” said Jenkins. “But if things continue on, we could expect to see continue to see rising gas prices.”

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11:52 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Take That, Seattle: Atlanta No. 2 for Electric Cars

2014 Nissan LEAF

File this one under the categories of, “Who knew?” and “Really?”

Atlanta just beat environmentally-conscious Seattle for the number two spot for use of electric cars, according to IHS Automotive as reported by the Wall Street Journal.   

This ranking will make some ponder if Atlanta has suddenly become  the land of tree hug-ery, where we’ll will pay a hefty window sticker premium to blow off the corner gas station.

… not exactly.

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12:45 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Georgia's Manufacturing Slumped In May, But Outlook Still Positive

Dr. Don Sabbarese is the director of KSU's Econometric Center.
Credit Kennesaw State University

  Manufacturing activity in Georgia dropped in May, but analysts still see the glass as half-full.

Kennesaw State University reports Georgia's Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, was 56.8 last month.

That's down about six points from the prior month.

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8:57 am
Tue June 3, 2014

1,100 Jobs Coming to Clayton County

Gov. Deal announcing that more than 1,100 jobs are to be relocated to Clayton Co. by Atlanta-based Chime Solutions.
Credit Marylee Williams/WABE

More than 1,100 jobs are coming to Clayton County.

Chime Solutions is an Atlanta-based human resource, business process outsourcing firm. The company plans to bring more than 1,100 jobs to Morrow in Clayton County and repurpose a former J.C. Penney inside Southlake Mall.

Governor Nathan Deal says the announcement comes in a county where the unemployment rate has greatly exceeded the state as a whole.

“This announcement should bring hope and opportunity to that part of our state. We think it will be a precursor to opportunity that will follow soon behind.”

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