REGIONAL REPORT.

Position:Includes multiple records
 
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EASTERN

FAYETTEVILLE -- Reductions in Medicare reimbursements have forced Cape Fear Valley Health System to cut 250 jobs. That will leave 3,750 on its payroll.

ROCKY MOUNT -- Royal Bank of Canada hopes to close its acquisition of Centura Banks Inc. by mid-summer. The Toronto-based company is paying $2.3 billion in stock for the state's fifth-largest bank. Centura CEO Cecil Sewell will be chairman of RBC Centura, which will keep its headquarters here.

MOREHEAD CITY -- The N.C. State Ports Authority has granted a three-year option to El Paso Merchant Energy, a subsidiary of Houston-based El Paso Corp., to lease 46.5 acres on Radio Island for a liquified-natural-gas terminal it wants to build. The rent escalates each year and totals $920,700.

WHITEVILLE -- Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific Corp. is reopening its chip mill and sawmill, which closed Dec. 1, due to an upturn in the market for framing timber. It will offer jobs first to the 91 employees it let go.

LUMBER BRIDGE -- A 75,000-square-foot addition will add 300 jobs to Mountaire Farms of North Carolina Corp.'s chicken-processing plant, bringing employment to 1,800. They will make chicken teriyaki, primavera and fajita meals.

DUNN -- Construction of New Century Bank's headquarters should be completed by October. The year-old community bank, serving Harnett, Johnston, Sampson and Cumberland counties, began construction in February.

SOUTHPORT -- Dosher Memorial Hospital seeks state approval for a $13 million expansion of its surgery, imaging, emergency and Physical-rehabilitation departments. It would be the first major renovation and expansion of the hospital since 1981 and financed by bonds that voters approved last year.

WILSON -- Smithfield Foods Inc. is appealing an administrative-law judge's ruling that it intimidated workers trying to unionize its pork-processing plant here. The Smithfield, Va.-based company's appeal to the National Labor Relations Board delays an order to rehire four workers, rescind warnings to another one and restore workers' compensation benefits to a sixth employee.

WILMINGTON -- Mattapoisette, Mass.-based Tasty Seafood Group has bought Hanover Packing Inc. Founder Peter Mairs will stay with the renamed Hanover Sea Products LLC, which processes fish for restaurants and grocery stores. Hanover Packing had $4 million in sales last year.

CHAPEL HILL -- Ohio-based Advantage Management Group Inc. is buying Kenan Transport Co. for $85 million in cash. The deal, expected to close in the second quarter, will create The Kenan Advantage Group, a private company that combines the Midwest's and South's largest petroleum-and-chemical truckers.

CHAPEL HILL -- Pozen Inc., which went public in October, got its first taste of Wall Street pessimism when it announced that a government request for additional testing would delay its first drug, a migraine remedy, 18 months. Its stock price plummeted 49% that day.

DURHAM -- Investors are pumping money into Triangle Pharmaceuticals Inc. despite testing delays on its experimental AIDS drug Coviracil. Abbott Park, Ill.-based Abbott Laboratories, Triangle's largest shareholder, agreed to buy 1.3 million of the 7.7 million shares the company is selling in a private stock sale to raise $46.2 million.

SANFORD -- Pantry Inc. wants to cut expenses by as much as $4 million annually by closing an administrative office in Jacksonville, Fla. About 100 marketing, finance and administrative jobs will be moved to its Sanford headquarters by July. With 1,337 stores, mostly in the South, Pantry is the nation's second-largest convenience-store chain not owned by...

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