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Eboni Lemon / WABE

Winter pretty much stood up South-Central Texas this year, and the neglect is showing in this season's scanty crop of Hill Country peaches.

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"Some things bloomed really extended and long, and some didn't take, so it's been really an interesting year," peach grower Russ Studebaker said. "We'll have, I think, about a 30 percent crop, which is better than nothing. So we're happy about that."

matt rourke / Associated Press

A Starbucks barista has taken to social media hoping to make orders for the coffee chain's much buzzed about Unicorn Frappuccino disappear.

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Atlanta Business Chronicle

Pinewood Atlanta Studios is teaming up with Atlanta-based virtual reality studio Trick 3D to bring its plans to life.

This week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle reports Pinewood Forrest, a 234-acre project underway in Fayetteville, will include 600 single family homes, 100 attached townhomes, 600 multi-family homes, a wellness and health center, two hotels and 250,000 square feet of retail space, including 15 restaurants and 25 boutiques.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Rising fuel costs hurt Delta's first-quarter profit, which dropped 36 percent from the same period a year before.

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But the Atlanta-based company's adjusted earnings beat expectations and its stock rose about 2 percent in morning trading Wednesday.

 

Delta also said Wednesday that last week's cancellation of about 4,000 flights because of severe weather in Atlanta will cost it $125 million in pre-tax income in the current quarter.

 

Richard Drew / AP File

United is getting pummeled on late-night TV. Online, jokers are proposing new corporate slogans such as "We'll drag you all over the world" and "We have red eye and black eye flights available." On Wall Street, the airline briefly lost nearly $1 billion in market value before its stock regained much of the loss.

Comcast expects to invest $200 million over the next 20 years in startups at its new accelerator opening at its new regional headquarters near SunTrust Park, called The Farm.
Courtesy of Boomtown

Comcast will dedicate part of its new nine-story office tower going up next to the Atlanta Braves stadium to a new start-up accelerator program called “The Farm.”

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Toby Krout, executive director of Boomtown, a startup accelerator in Boulder, Colorado, is launching the program with Comcast early next year.  

At the South by Southwest festival, participants stopped by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce booth and put on virtual reality headsets to experience Atlanta.
Courtesy of Foundry 45

In Austin, Texas, this week, hundreds of people visited Atlanta virtually.

At the South by Southwest festival, participants stopped by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce booth and put on virtual reality (VR) headsets to experience Atlanta.

Virtual reality has mostly been associated with gaming or selling a brand, but groups like the Metro Atlanta Chamber are using it to recruit candidates.

Dave Beck is co-founder of an Atlanta-based virtual reality company called Foundry 45.

BRANDEN CAMP / Associated Press

American Airlines said Tuesday that it plans to offer free meals to everyone in economy on two cross-country routes starting May 1.

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The decision by the world's biggest airline comes a month after Delta Air Lines announced that it would restore free meals in economy on a dozen long-haul U.S. routes this spring.

 

coca-cola

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, who is stepping down in May, received a compensation package worth $16 million last year, according to a regulatory filing.

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That included a salary of $1.6 million, stock and options worth $9.5 million and incentive pay of $4.1 million. Other compensation included costs for travel, security and contributions to a retirement and savings plan, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Pedestrians enter the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Friday, April 24, 2009 in Atlanta.
AP Photo/Gregory Smith

Georgia banks were having a rough time, even five years after the recession. Hundreds locked their doors and never reopened as customers defaulted on their loans.

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But in 2016, FDIC-insured banks in Georgia made $3 billion dollars in profit, a nearly 5 percent increase from 2015.

MARTA Rail Expansion Could Stall In 2017

Feb 27, 2017
Courtesy of Atlanta Business Chronicle

After setting the stage for the largest expansion of MARTA rail in history last year, the General Assembly isn’t likely to build on that progress in 2017.

According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, plans to introduce legislation to expand MARTA’s existing rail network further, into areas of Fulton County outside Atlanta’s city limits, have fizzled due to a lack of consensus among the county’s mayors.

Al Such / WABE

Two tiny, newborn puppies squeak as they feel out their surroundings; their eyes haven’t opened yet, but once they find each other with their little paws, they immediately get into position to cuddle. They find comfort in each other’s warmth, and they stop yipping as they rest on the soft pad of a towel.

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Their mother is nearby, being looked over by Dr. Charron Bryant, a veterinarian who takes his practice to the homes of the animals, rather than having the animals come to him.

Alpharetta Is Building Its Own BeltLine

Feb 24, 2017
Courtesy of Atlanta Business Chronicle

The Atlanta BeltLine is still being built, but it’s already attracting millions of dollars in urban redevelopment. Now Alpharetta says it’s creating its own version of the BeltLine in the North Atlanta suburb.

It is called the Alpha loop, according to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle – an approximately 8-mile trail that would connect the city’s downtown to big projects including Avalon and the Big Creek Greenway. It would include lighting, bicycle service areas and pocket parks for people to gather.

Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

Atlanta-based Popeyes is getting a new owner.

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The company behind Burger King is buying the fried chicken chain for almost $2 billion. It comes after Popeyes Louisiana Chicken made some changes to its fast food image.

The company's been remodeling its restaurants and tweaking the flavors of its food. According to analyst John Gordon, the chain's taking a card from fast casual restaurants, like Chipotle.

State Farm Advances Dunwoody Project

Feb 13, 2017
Courtesy of Atlanta Business Chronicle

State Farm Insurance Co.’s 2.2 million-square-foot campus is kicking off its second phase, further distancing Dunwoody from its suburban roots, with a new walkable district connected by transit and lined with street-level retail.

Lorenzo Zambino, 5, with Brasfield & Gorrie crew at the construction site of the Center for Advanced Pediatrics, which will be located on the North Druid Hills Campus.
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta plans to build a $1 billion to $1.3 billion hospital on a 46-acre site at North Druid Hills Road and Interstate 85 in the city of Brookhaven.

The new facility will address worsening space constraints at Children’s – which currently has campuses in downtown Atlanta, Sandy Springs and on Clifton Road – and will allow the hospital to meet forecasted patient care and space needs through 2026 and projected demand to 2036 and beyond.

Five miles from the Port of Savannah, developers will add five million square feet of storage space on 500 acres of land recently sold by the Georgia Ports Authority.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

The Georgia Ports Authority recently sold 500 acres of land for a private developer to build warehousing, distribution and transload facilities.

This is in response to growing demand from businesses for more storage space. The Georgia Ports Authority said it expects this sale will help it get closer to becoming a U.S. gateway port.

In 2015, more than 10.3 percent of all U.S. container exports left from the Port of Savannah.

Coca-Cola CEO, Muhtar Kent
Courtesy of Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is the first Fortune 500 Atlanta company to come out against President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration.

Tech companies like Google and Microsoft responded loudly against the executive order this weekend.

But many of Atlanta's largest publicly-traded companies aren't talking about it.

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent said he doesn't support President Trump's executive order and is working to help employees who may be affected.

Jackson Healthcare Plans $100M Alpharetta Campus Expansion

Jan 30, 2017

Staffing giant Jackson Healthcare is designing a $100 million expansion of its Alpharetta campus, with Italian Renaissance-inspired architecture featuring a replica of the Roman Colosseum.

The historic Covington courthouse in Newton County.
Johnny Kauffman / WABE

A new $100 million film and television complex planned in Covington will be an amenity-filled “Google-esque” campus.

A factory worker in Jackson, Minnesota uses Google Glass to help her on the assembly line.
Courtesy of AGCO

Google Glass didn’t do so well when it first launched, and is no longer in production for consumers, but the high-tech glasses are getting a second life in manufacturing.

One of the pioneers of this technology is an agricultural manufacturing company based in Duluth, Georgia called AGCO.

Minnesota Plant

At one of AGCO’s factories in Jackson, Minnesota, Heather Erickson is building an engine before it goes on to the assembly line.

Georgia Films Could Be On Oscar Stage

Jan 23, 2017
Eric Charbonneau / Invision for Twentieth Century Fox/Associated Press

It’s Oscars season. And this year, Georgia  may get its chance to shine. 

Augusta Cybersecurity Center Could Boost Metro Atlanta

Jan 20, 2017
Byron Small / Atlanta Business Chronicle

A proposed $50 million state-owned cybersecurity innovation center would be built in Augusta, nearly 150 miles from Atlanta’s rapidly growing cyber hub. Despite that distance, enthusiastic Atlanta-based cybersecurity industry executives say the halo effect of a state-backed  research and training hub will pay dividends for Atlanta’s cybersecurity sector by driving private investment to the sector, attracting cyber companies and nurturing home-grown startups.

Christina Marshall-Valdez is the CEO of Taelur, a web and mobile platform that connects plus-size women to clothes that fit them.
Alison Guillory / WABE

Downtown Atlanta is home to one of the first programs in the U.S. dedicated to funding and developing startups founded by black and Latino women.

It's called the BIG incubator and on Saturday, four teams are graduating from the three month bootcamp.

Taelur

Christina Marshall-Valdez is the founder of the start-up called Taelur, the French word for tailor. On her computer, she selects images of clothing, styles and body parts.

"The quiz is what's informing our artificial intelligence, so that's the engine for our site," she explained.

Courtesy of MailChimp

Conventional wisdom says for-profit employees work for paychecks, and nonprofit employees want to make a difference.

Two Atlanta companies have turned that wisdom on its head. They made philanthropy a part of their business model and found it has paid off.

MailChimp

Paulding County has approved a deal for a California-based company to lease the Atlanta Film Studio in Hiram, GA.
Lee Thomas / Ga. Department of Economic Development

The number of television series being made today is at an all-time high thanks to nontraditional platforms such as Netflix and Amazon, and the influx of new episodic programs in the Peach State is pumping millions into Georgia’s already exploding film and television industry.

According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, more than 430 scripted series were in development or on air in 2016, double the number of shows in 2010, according to the Washington Post.

Georgia Tech Looks To Expand In West Midtown

Jan 6, 2017
Alison Guillory / WABE

Georgia Tech wants to expand its campus into the West Midtown area of Atlanta. According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, Georgia Tech has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the land at 14th Street and Howell Mill Road.

It’s looking for developers for an 11.5-acre site where hundreds of apartments, retail and office space, and a hotel could rise.

The Port of Savannah is poised to rapidly increase service to an arc of inland markets, from Atlanta to Memphis, to St. Louis, Chicago and the Ohio Valley. Key to expanding rail service is a $128M project linking Garden City Terminal’s two rail yards.
Courtesy of Stephen B. Morton/Georgia Ports Authority

The Georgia Ports Authority says one of its top priorities this year is building what it calls the "Mid-American Arc."

It's a $128 million project that would connect the CSX and Norfolk Southern rail yards leaving the Port of Savannah.

The arc project will double rail capacity in Savannah and improve its link to Atlanta and cities in the Midwest.

The Georgia Ports Authority said more than 3.4 million container units moved through the ports of Savannah and Brunswick in 2016.
Stephen B. Morton / Associated Press

Georgia's ports are on track to declare this year as their second busiest ever.

The increase in traffic volume was a surprise turnaround for the state.

With the exception of February, during the first half of this year both imports and exports moving through Georgia ports were down from last year.

Local research is confirming something we've all heard: getting a job is often about who you know.

Like many people, Atlanta resident Brenna Lakeson has seen the benefits of personal connections in her career.

Recently, when a friend was leaving her job at a center serving the homeless in Atlanta, she put in a good word for Lakeson. The two had gone to grad school together.

Lakeson ended up getting the spot, and, she said, it's worked out well.

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