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Howard Levine To Step Down As Family Dollar CEO

Jan 8, 2016
T. Ortega Gaines / Charlotte Observer File Photo

Charlotte Observer

Howard Levine is stepping down as chief executive officer of Matthews-based Family Dollar on Jan. 15, the company announced Friday.

Levine’s departure follows Virginia-based Dollar Tree’s acquisition of Family Dollar last summer. At the time, the company had said Levine would remain with the company for two years to assist with the integration, reporting to Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser.

We’re going to revisit an incentives deal from a year ago that raised some eyebrows in North Carolina. The state gave generous tax breaks to help convince a company to open a new office in Charlotte. That’s pretty standard. The head-scratching part is the nature of that company’s business: shipping U.S. jobs overseas.

The Federal Trade Commission has given its OK to Duke Energy's planned acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas, the companies said Tuesday.  

The recently-named CEO of a planned mental health care program in Charlotte has resigned, after about one month on the job. The HopeWay Foundation says Daniel Brown stepped down December 10 to return to his previous employer, Albemarle-based behavioral health care provider Monarch. 

In a statement, Brown cited “family considerations” for his decision. HopeWay co-founder Bill Blue says the organization is resuming its search for a CEO.    

Mark Rumsey

In the Charlotte region, the words airport and Charlotte Douglas International, usually go together. It might surprise you to know that North Carolina’s 5th-busiest airport is located just about 20 miles away – in Concord. Before Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2012, the City of Concord promoted Concord Regional Airport as the “fastest gateway to Charlotte” for  private and charter flights bringing convention attendees to town.

Over the past two years, Concord’s airport has been carving out a new niche in the Charlotte region’s air travel business. 

Nick de la Canal / WFAE News

This year is shaping up to be a good one for America’s Christmas tree farmers. A report published this week by the American Christmas Tree Association estimates nearly 22.6 million Christmas trees will be bought, strapped to a car roof, brought home, and decorated this holiday season. That’s a million more trees than were sold in 2011, and it’s welcome relief for the Christmas tree industry, which is still recovering from the recession.

Duke Energy plans to add two more solar energy projects to its North Carolina power network next year, as it works to meet state requirements for clean electricity.

The company is asking the North Carolina Utilities Commission for permission to take over two projects already in development -  a 60-megawatt solar farm in Monroe and a 15.4-megawatt facility in Mocksville, in Davie County.

If approved, construction on both would start in March and be done by the end of 2016. 

Corning Optical Communications plans to move its headquarters from Hickory to a new $38.7 million office building Charlotte in 2018. A spokeswoman said the company is looking at sites off I-485 northwest of Charlotte, and hopes to announce the location by April 1.

David Boraks / WFAE

Duke Energy is the nation’s largest power company, supplying electricity to more than 7 million customers in the Southeast and Midwest. But for the past six years, the Charlotte company also has been quietly building a separate startup business that sells wind and solar power to other utilities and businesses.

Lowe's increased its profit for the most recent quarter by 26 percent compared to the same period a year ago. The earnings report for the Mooresville-based home improvement company beat analyst expectations.

Although the overall retail market has been weak lately, Lowe's earnings show a growing number of consumers willing to upgrade appliances, renovate decks and take on other home projects.

On a call with investors, CEO Robert Niblock said the company's same-store sales in the U.S. increased 5 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago.