Business

A Closer Look
5:08 pm
Mon August 31, 2015

Emory Expert Offers Analysis On Stock Market, China Slowdown

The Charging Bull, a symbol of Wall Street, and sometimes even referred to as the Wall Street Bull, is a landmark in Manhattan’s Financial District in Bowling Green Park.
Credit Sam valadi / flickr.com/132084522@N05

Financial markets took a roller coaster ride last week, nose-diving and rebounding, then nose-diving again before gaining back some losses, all amid worries over China’s worsening economy.

By week’s end, though, stocks recovered somewhat after investor reassurances that the U.S. economy is in good shape.

“Growth is slowing in China,” Clifton Green, an associate professor of finance at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, said during an interview on “A Closer Look.”

China’s exports were down by 8 percent year-over-year in July, he said.

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Business
12:35 pm
Fri August 28, 2015

Atlanta Is Home To Over 280 Fast-Food Chicken Restaurants

A restaurant analyst estimates there are 280 fast food chicken restaurants in the Atlanta area. If the market is saturated here, no one seems to notice. Bojangle’s, for example, plans to open several new locations this year.
Credit Chris Potter, Mike Mozart, Mike, Mike Mozart / flickr.com/86530412@N02, flickr.com/jeepersmedia, flickr.com/shmajent, flickr.com/jeepersmedia

Fast-food chain Bojangle's has its eye on Atlanta with plans to open several more locations in the area this year.

That brings its total number of Atlanta locations to at least 45, or about one-third the number of local Chick-fil-A restaurants here. Add in Popeye’s with 10, Church’s Chicken with 32, and KFC with nearly 60, and it’s clear Atlanta has a lot of chicken choices.

"In order to make it, you've got to make it in Atlanta,” says restaurant analyst John Gordon of Pacific Management Consulting Group.

But is the market saturated?

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Business
10:40 am
Wed August 26, 2015

Burger King To McDonald's: Let's Make A McWhopper

This probably isn't what the United Nations had in mind when it established the International Day of Peace: Burger King is asking McDonald's to join forces to create a "McWhopper."

In full-page newspaper ads Wednesday, Burger King said it's calling for a truce with McDonald's so that they can create a mashup of their most famous burgers — the Big Mac and the Whopper. Burger King says it wants to serve the concoction for a single day at a popup location in Atlanta, a midway point between the headquarters of the two chains.

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A Closer Look
5:03 pm
Mon August 24, 2015

Redevelopment Threatens Culture Of Some Atlanta Neighborhoods

The Atlanta Preservation Center's Boyd Coons says ''change is inevitable, but figuring out how to make it beneficial is what makes progress.'' Coons talked about changes underway in city neighborhoods and more.
Credit Brenna Beech / WABE

Atlanta’s booming redevelopment sector is creating an economic boon for some, while pricing others right out of their homes because of the rising costs of rent in some areas of the metro area.

Smith's Olde Bar, an iconic music venue in Atlanta, for example, is at risk of losing its space because the property is reportedly scheduled for auction this week. Another proposed development, the Morningside Strip Center, may be in jeopardy because the rents could be too costly and unaffordable for local businesses.

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Business
9:47 am
Mon August 24, 2015

Dow Jones Takes A Plunge After Chinese Stock Market Rout

Trader Christopher Martin works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 358 points, also 2.1 percent, to 16,990.
Credit Richard Drew / Associated Press

U.S. markets plunged at the open Monday following a big drop in Chinese stocks.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 1,000 points in early trading.

The Dow was 783 points, or 4.8 percent, lower as of 9:40 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 87 points, or 4.5 percent, to 1,882. The Nasdaq composite fell 247 points, or 5.1 percent, to 4,465 points.

China's main index has lost up to 8.6 percent as investors shaken by the sell-off last week on Wall Street unloaded shares in practically every sector.

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Business
9:40 am
Mon August 24, 2015

Southern Co. Buying AGL Resources For About $7.93B

Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO, Thomas A. Fanning, left, sits next to John W. Somerhalder, II, AGL’s Resources Chairman and CEO at the Southern Company and AGL merger press conference.
Credit Stephanie Lennox / WABE

Atlanta's Southern Company is buying natural gas distributor AGL Resources Inc. for approximately $7.93 billion, which would create the second-biggest utility company in the U.S. by customer base.

CEO Tom Fanning says the merger gives the company more options.

"It is a matter of fact that America will still need coal in its portfolio," Fanning said. “But it is also irrefutable that gas will play a greater and greater role."

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Commentary
11:13 am
Fri August 21, 2015

Atlanta Has Earned Bragging Rights For Going 'Green'

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the city set a goal of 2 million square feet of property committed to reduced energy consumption. The city surpassed that goal.
Credit City of Atlanta

When it comes to the environment, it's not often for Atlanta to have bragging rights.

But when it comes to the Better Buildings Challenge -- a national program to promote energy efficiency -- Atlanta ranks No. 1.

Atlanta has outpaced all its other competitors when it comes to cities that have pledged to reduce energy consumption by 2020. Atlanta has more property square footage signed up in the program than any other city.

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Airlines & Aviation
10:39 am
Fri August 21, 2015

Delta: Informing, Not Shaming, Those Who Buy Low-Fare Tickets

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines has been accused of shaming certain customers into buying a higher-fare ticket. Delta says it's providing transparency as a way to better inform customers.
Credit Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press

Delta's lowest published fare, Basic Economy, comes with a lot of restrictions -- no changes, upgrades or assigned seats, to name a few. And you'll be last on the plane.

For customers who choose that fare online -- what some call the "Economy Minus" rate -- Delta shows a screen letting travelers know exactly what they're not getting.

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Business
2:25 pm
Tue August 18, 2015

Atlanta's Newest Hotels Aren't Your Dad's Marriott

Noble Investment Group hopes to build two new hotels to Midtown at what's now a parking lot along 14th Street.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports Marriott's AC and Moxy brands will share a single building. 

Co-branding hotels under one roof is a somewhat new trend in the hotel industry, said Georgia State University School of Hospitality director Debby Cannon. 

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Closer Look
5:26 pm
Fri August 14, 2015

Coca-Cola Merger Plans Create Uncertainty For Atlanta

This week brought a lot of news on the Coca-Cola front.
Credit Justin Taylor / flickr.com/bludgeoner86

What a week for the Coca-Cola Company! 

First, Coca-Cola Enterprises announced a merger that will lead to Atlanta having one less Fortune 500 company but would make the company the largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola's products.

Then the Coca-Cola company announced a new president and COO, a position that has not existed since 2007. James Quincey clearly is being positioned as the possible successor to Muhtar Kent after he retires.

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Business
9:50 am
Fri August 14, 2015

Coca-Cola Names Company Veteran To New No. 2 Position

Coca-Cola says it named company veteran James Quincey as president and chief operating officer, creating a new No. 2 position in its chain of command.
Credit Ric Feld / Associated Press

Coca-Cola says it named company veteran James Quincey as president and chief operating officer, creating a new No. 2 position in its chain of command.

The Atlanta-based company says Quincey's appointment is effective immediately and that he will report directly to CEO Muhtar Kent.

That means Coca-Cola's operating groups will now report to Quincey, rather than Kent. The company also says the president of Coca-Cola International, Ahmet Bozer, will retire in March. His position will not be refilled.

Bozer, 55, joined the company in 1990 as a financial control manager.

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A Closer Look
12:44 pm
Thu August 13, 2015

Weather Challenges To Cause Smaller Apple Crop For Ga. Farmers

Georgia's apple season is approaching. Many orchards in the state, like the Ellijay-based Hillcrest Orchards, are in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains – the best place to grow apples in the state.
Credit Courtesy of Hillcrest Orchards

It’s the beginning of apple season in Georgia. The northern part of the state around the cities of Ellijay and Blue Ridge is the center of the state’s apple industry, where the climate is just right for growing the fruit.

Last year growers, including Georgia, reported a bumper crop of apples – one of the biggest apple hauls in 25 years. This year Georgia growers, like Janice Hale of Hillcrest Orchards, don’t expect the same volume.

“It’s not nearly as big as last year,” Hale said. “Last year was phenomenal. This year we’ve had a few challenges.”

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A Closer Look
4:11 pm
Fri August 7, 2015

AFL-CIO: New Proposal On Overtime Pay Could Impact Millions

A worker at the United Parcel Service sorting facility in Roswell, Georgia, loads boxes onto delivery trucks. A new overtime pay rule could affect millions more American workers.
Credit David Goldman / AP Photo, File

President Barack Obama unveiled a new proposal in June that would ensure that millions more Americans would earn overtime wages for working more than 40 hours a week. The measure would raise the threshold for paying salaried workers overtime to those who make $50,440 or less a year.

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A Closer Look
5:49 pm
Thu August 6, 2015

Forget Car Jacking, Auto Hacking A Danger To Drivers

Fiat Chrysler's 2014 and 2015 model Jeep Grand Cherokees are on the list of vehicles under a voluntary recall order because of the risk of a security breach from hackers who could take control of the vehicle.
Credit Courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)

Drivers were once worried about leaving their vehicles running while unattended for fear of a car jacking. Now a bigger fear for drivers is auto hacking.

If you’re driving one of several Chrysler Fiat models, you’re at risk of losing control of your vehicle to hackers.

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A Closer Look
5:17 pm
Thu August 6, 2015

Group Leaders Demand Higher Minimum Wages For Minority Women

Fast food worker Qiana Shields chants during a demonstration outside of a Burger King restaurant in College Park, Georgia, calling for the federal minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour. Recently, many leaders of several advocacy groups joined together to discuss the issue on women of color working minimum wage jobs and the need to raise the pay.
Credit David Goldman / AP Photo

Many people who are working minimum wage jobs are women, and many of those women are African-American or Latina.

Leaders of several advocacy groups recently joined together in Washington to discuss the issue on women of color working theses jobs. The panelists expressed the need to raise the minimum wage.

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Business
4:28 pm
Thu August 6, 2015

Developer To Pay Fine For Cutting Down 150-Year-Old Trees

The city of Atlanta has imposed the maximum fine against a developer who cut down five large trees, each estimated to be about 150 years old.

Commissioner of Planning and Community Development Tim Keane told WXIA-TV on Wednesday that Intown Renewal Developers must pay $11,400.13 for cutting down two white oaks and three poplars in the Ormewood Park community of southeast Atlanta.

Keane says the developers accepted full responsibility for cutting down the trees without permits.

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A Closer Look
6:35 pm
Wed August 5, 2015

Atlanta Teen Entrepreneurs Working To Be Young Moguls

Jordan Williams and Brandon Iverson, both high school seniors and business owners, started the Young Moguls clothing line to help empower young people.
Credit Lily McGregor Photography

President Obama hosted a so-called Demo Day at the White House this week where he renewed his commitment to those underrepresented in entrepreneurship, like women and people of color.

In Atlanta, many young entrepreneurs are involved with tech start-ups and are working on owning their own businesses.

Atlanta teenagers Jordan Williams and Brandon Iverson are part of that group of emerging business owners. At the tender age of 10, the pair started their first company and now, at 17, they have a new brand called Young Moguls.

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A Closer Look
6:17 pm
Wed August 5, 2015

Atlanta Fed President: City’s Economy ‘Well-Balanced’

The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Dennis Lockhart, left, calls Atlanta a mirror of the national economy. He says the city's growth is ''not spectacular,'' but it is ''solid.''
Credit Reed Saxon / Associated Press

Atlanta has been making slow but steady progress in recovering from the Great Recession. But when it comes to jobs and economic growth, it’s often hard – even for the experts – to predict whether those sectors will pick up momentum and when.

But, according to the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Dennis Lockhart, the city is faring well.

“We have a rather balanced economy in Atlanta, no particular industry on which the city is dependent,” Lockhart said during an interview on “A Closer Look.”

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Business
10:17 am
Wed August 5, 2015

Atlanta Medical Center Hosts Job Fair For Nurses

Atlanta Medical Center is hosting a job fair for registered nurses.

The event is set for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at Atlanta Medical Center at 320 Parkway Drive N.E. in Atlanta.

Experienced Registered Nurses with at least two years of experience are being sought.

A Closer Look
6:17 pm
Tue August 4, 2015

Fallout From New EPA Rules On U.S. Power Plants Underway

Smoke billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station Power Plant in Bow, New Hampshire. New EPA rules require major reduction in carbon emissions from power plants by 2022.
Credit Jim Cole / AP Photo

President Obama unveiled a sweeping and unprecedented plan to significantly cut carbon emissions from U.S. power plants over the next 15 years.

The plan requires a 32 percent reduction below 2005 levels of carbon emission by 2022.

The president compared the emissions reduction to taking 166 million cars off the road. He also said the new Environmental Protection Agency rules will create jobs, reduce energy bills for homes and businesses, protect public health and push the development of sustainable energy sources.

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A Closer Look
7:33 pm
Mon August 3, 2015

Savannah Port Expansion Set To Begin Ahead Of Schedule

Dredging in Savannah Harbor will get underway months earlier than expected in early September as part of the Port of Savannah expansion project.
Credit Stephen B. Morton / AP Photo

A record-breaking amount of cargo moved through the Port of Savannah last year. The port, the nation’s fourth busiest, handled 3.6 million shipping containers in 2014, according to the Georgia Ports Authority. And traffic is expected to increase even more with the expansion of the Savannah Harbor.

The dredging of the Savannah River is an important step in the expansion project and is now scheduled to begin in September, months ahead of schedule, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently announced.

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A Closer Look
11:27 am
Thu July 30, 2015

Greece Struggles To Restructure Debt As Deadline Nears

The Greek flag, right, stands next to the European Union flag with the iconic Parthenon visible in the background. Greece is struggling to address its soaring debt problems as its future in the European Union remains uncertain.
Credit Petr David Josek / AP Photo

The Greek government is swimming in debt and can’t pay its creditors. European finance officials are trying to work out a $95 billion bailout, the third, for the financially strapped nation.

Talks on the bailout among the Greek government, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund have been fractured and contentious in recent weeks.

It’s a complicated situation, but Atlanta resident and Greek-American Rom Papadopoulos said during an interview on “A Closer Look,” that he has faith that Greece will be able to overcome the economic chaos.

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Commentary
2:32 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

MARTA Commuter Rail Possible For Clayton County

Passengers boarding a MARTA train in Atlanta ─ something Clayton County residents hope is in their future.
Credit Scott Ehardt / Wikipedia

MARTA buses have been rolling in Clayton County since March, but what the county really wants is commuter rail.

The good news is that MARTA is working on it.

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Business
2:24 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Decatur Water Boil Advisory Negatively Affects Businesses

The Slide in the City event, expected to bring thousands of people to Decatur, was shut down due to DeKalb County's water problems.
Credit IQRemix / flickr.com/IQRemix

A water boil advisory that was in effect for three days in DeKalb County hurt some local businesses.

The county issued the advisory because crews had to drop the water pressure three times within 36 hours to repair a transmission line that broke late Thursday. It all started last week when a fire hydrant was struck by a crew that was mowing the grass along the road near the transmission line at Henderson Mill and Evans Road.

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Business
2:12 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Tyler Perry's Army Base Plans Could Include Museum, Amphitheater

Tyler Perry may be building a museum and amphitheater on the Fort McPherson property he bought recently.
Credit Evan Agostini/Invision / Associated Press

Filmmaker Tyler Perry's plans for a sprawling movie studio at Fort McPherson may include an amphitheater and a museum, according to documents obtained by an Atlanta newspaper.

A map provided to the U.S. Army shows the amphitheater and museum, but gives little other information, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Perry, who acquired most of the closed Army post in June, has said the studio will feature tours but has been otherwise silent on any public aspects of the project.

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Business
5:56 pm
Fri July 24, 2015

WellStar In Talks To Buy Tenet Hospitals In Georgia

Wellstar is in talks to buy five Tenet hospitals in Georgia.
Credit WellStar Health System

WellStar Health System says it’s in discussions with Tenet Healthcare to buy Tenet's five hospitals in Georgia.

Tenet, a for-profit company that operates 81 hospitals nationwide, has been considering selling its facilities in Georgia, according to an earnings call with analysts earlier this year.

Hospitals have been looking to scale their operations as part of a bigger trend in the industry, but the lack of Medicaid expansion in Georgia could also be another factor for Tenet's sale, said Chris Kane, principal at DHG Healthcare.

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A Closer Look
4:30 pm
Wed July 22, 2015

KSU Professor: Coke Feeling The Pressure Over FIFA Scandal

Germany celebrates after scoring a third goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match on July 8, 2014. Major sponsor Coca Cola is urging FIFA to clean up its scandal-plagued governing body.
Credit Matthias Schrader / AP Photo

The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, or CONCACAF, Gold Cup semifinals begin today in downtown Atlanta with a sold-out first match between the U.S. and Jamaica in the Georgia Dome.

CONCACAF is the organization that oversees soccer in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. It's affiliated with FIFA, the sport's international governing body.

FIFA has been embroiled in controversy in recent months over recent corruption charges among top leaders at the organization and allegations of human rights abuses in Qatar.

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Business
11:27 am
Mon July 20, 2015

New Harper Lee Book Already A Million Seller

Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman” is a million seller.
Credit Lisa George / WABE

 

    

Critics dismissed it as a rough draft for "To Kill a Mockingbird" and readers despaired over an aging, racist Atticus Finch.

But Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman" is still a million seller.

HarperCollins announced Monday that "Go Set a Watchman" has already sold 1.1 million copies in the U.S. and Canada, a figure which includes first-week sales and months of pre-orders. The publisher stunned the world in February when it revealed that a second novel was coming from Lee, who had long insisted that "To Kill a Mockingbird" would be her only book.

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Business
4:02 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

In Atlanta, Fingerprint Scanner Tested On Foreign Travelers

Federal authorities are testing a mobile device used to scan fingerprints from a sample of foreign air travelers as they depart from the United States through Atlanta's airport.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Jennifer Evanitsky said Tuesday that officers began using the devices last week to scan fingerprints and passports of some foreign passengers on selected flights at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

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Business
12:33 pm
Tue July 14, 2015

Atlanta's Airport Receives Bond Ratings Upgrade

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has received a bond ratings upgrade from Fitch Ratings. The cost savings will help the airport pay for future projects such as a parking deck expansion.
Credit Victor Villanueva / flickr.com/bikoy

Atlanta’s airport has received a bond ratings upgrade from Fitch Ratings.

This week, the agency boosted two of the airport’s bonds from an A to an A+.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s Chief Financial Officer and Deputy General Manager, Roosevelt Council, says upping those bond ratings, which represent the corporation's bond credit quality, will save the airport millions of dollars in borrowing costs. He says that the cost savings will help Hartsfield-Jackson pay for current and future projects. 

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