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Beatles CDs on sale at midnight

Line up at midnight tonight at Schoolkids Records in Raleigh if you want to be the first on your block to own a CD from the remastered Beatles catalog.

Salix drug wins FDA approval

Salix Pharmaceuticals said this morning that it won regulatory approval for a new treatment for stomach ailments, expanding its portfolio of drugs that treat gastrointestinal diseases.

The Morrisville company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted marketing approval for Metozolv ODT to treat a stomach ailment that afflicts about five million diabetics, diabetic gastroparesis, as well as a more serious form of acid reflux known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

Metozolv is a fast-dissolving version of the drug metoclopramide. Salix acquired the worldwide marketing rights to Metozolv in September 2007 from Wilmington Pharmaceuticals of Wilmington, N.C.

Metozolv. which melts on the tongue, offers a better option for patients who have trouble swallowing or need treatment when they don't have water available, Bill Forbes, senior vice president and chief development officer at Salix, said in a prepared statement.

Metozolv is expected to be available in November.

Salix shares were fetching $12.73, up one cent, in mid-morning trading. Shares have risen from a low for the year of $6.15 in early March.

Salix already sells drugs to treat ulcerative colitis, traverlers' diarrhea and other diseases. It is one of the few local drug companies with products that have been approved for patients.

Salix posted a loss of $15.3 million on revenue of $52.2 million in the second quarter. The company expects to be profitable in 2010.

Bank of Granite told to 'cease and desist'

Tags: .biz | banks

Regulators placed Bank of Granite under a so-called “cease and desist” order, the  bank announced this afternoon, according to our sister newspaper, The Charlotte Observer.

Observer staff writer Christina Rexrode reports that the Granite Falls-based bank has lost tens of millions of dollars, suspended its shareholder payout and scaled back on lending.

Despite the name, “cease and desist” orders do not require a bank to immediately shut down, but they do give orders on any number of topics. Among other things, regulators are requiring Bank of Granite to assess management and reduce assets. It cannot pay shareholder dividends without regulators' consent. The bank must report to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the N.C. Commissioner of Banks at least quarterly on its progress in implementing the orders.

For the full story, click here.

Progress Energy proposes CFL bulb discount

Progress Energy wants to offer customers a price break on CFL bulbs.

The Raleigh-based electric utility is asking state regulators to approve a program that would allow Progress customers to buy the energy-efficient bulbs at a $1.50 discount, on average.

The discount would cut the customers's cost of a CFL bulb by as much as 50 percent over the cost of an incandescent bulb.

Under the proposal, customers would pay the discount prices at select hardware stores and other retail centers, and Progress would reimburse the manufacturers and retailers. According to the company's filing with the N.C. Utilities Commission, it expects that the discount would result in 12.4 percent of light sockets in the company's service area using CFL bulbs by 2011.

Raleigh nonprofit seeks $28.1 million in fed stimulus money for high-speed Internet

The Raleigh nonprofit that provides high-speed Internet access for educational use is seeking $28.1 million in financial aid from the federal stimulus package.

MCNC plans to use the money to add more than 600 miles of fiber-optic cable in rural areas that include portions of Wake County and Johnston County. Formed in 1980, MCNC provides communications services for public schools, community colleges and universities.

The additional networks will improve Internet access for schools and colleges that already have access, said MCNC chief executive Joe Freddoso. It's needed because in large part because more and more students rely on distance learning that increasingly requires video transmissions.

"They have access, they need more capacity," Freddoso said. "We need to deliver to these schools in the next three to four years, basically, unlimited bandwidth."

Marriott to build at Triangle Town Center

Marriott will soon begin construction on a $15 million Courtyard by Marriott hotel next to the Triangle Town Center mall.

The 109-room hotel should open toward the end of 2010.

Mall manager Jack Love said the mall sold a piece of property along Capital Boulevard near the existing Chili's and Macaroni Grill restaurants to MJM Real Estate Group, which is developing the hotel.

Construction should begin soon, Love said, though he did not know the specific construction timeline. Construction fences are already being put in place on the site. Davidson and Jones Construction Company of Raleigh will build the hotel.

Hardee's and UNC strike a deal

Hardee's will go Carolina Blue this year, teaming up with UNC to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Tar Heel basketball.

Hardee's parent company CKE struck a deal with UNC to become an official sponsor of the university's 100th anniversary activities.

Hardee's has created a special Carolina blue logo that will be displayed on signs and video boards in the Dean E. Smith Center. In addition, more than 200 stores throughout the state will use special packaging celebrating the team and the school's basketball history.

"We are very excited to celebrate the 100th milestone of Carolina basketball with this partnership of two ‘winners’ born here in North Carolina," said Jerry Allsbrook, chief marketing officer for Boddie-Noell Enterprises, the largest Hardee’s franchisee in both North Carolina and nationally.

Boddie-Noell is based in Rocky Mount and operates 340 Hardee's stores, including all of the ones in the Triangle.

Cornerstone expanding its drug lineup

Cornerstone Therapeutics has received the go-ahead to acquire the antibiotic Factive for $5 million in cash.

Cary-based Cornerstone said today that it received bankruptcy court approval to acquire Factive, which last year generated $16 million in sales, from Oscient Pharmaceuticals Corp. Oscient, based in Massachusetts, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July.

Factive, which is used for respiratory ailments, has been  available in the U.S. market since 2004. Its patent protection extends to 2018, according to Cornerstone.

Auto Supply Company expands into Raleigh

Auto Supply Co. is returning to the Triangle market with a new Raleigh warehouse off Capital Boulevard.

The Winston-Salem company distributes automotive parts and equipment to car dealerships, independent garage owners and fleets but does not sell through retail outlets. With the new Raleigh location, the company has 18 warehouses and two larger "hub" warehouses throughout North Carolina and Western Virginia.

Auto Supply Co. did have a location in this area before, but it was closed in 2004, said Mark Pate, the company's vice president of marketing. Since then, the company has shifted its focus toward independent garage owners and fleet customers and has chosen to come back to the Triangle.

"This is a critical market for our company, representing the second largest and fastest growing metropolitan population base in North Carolina," said Charlie Key, president and CEO. 

The new warehouse is roughly 25,000 square feet and is located on Yonkers Road, just off Capital Boulevard. It began operations Sept. 1.

Time Warner to shut down Fayetteville call center, move jobs

Time Warner Cable, the state's biggest cable TV company, will shut down its customer call center in Fayetteville and move the 80 jobs to Raleigh and Wilmington.

The employees in those jobs, who are paid about $30,00 a year, will be able to reapply for their positions in the new locations. Sixty call center jobs will be moved to Raleigh and and 20 dispatch jobs will go to Wilmington.

Time Warner will shut down the 45-year-old Fayetteville center Oct. 29 to consolidate operations, leaving two call centers in Raleigh and Wilmington. Company spokeswoman Melissa Buscher said this is not a cost-cutting measure.

"These functions lend themselves to centralization for staffing reasons, training and supervision," Buscher said.