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Good morning.

I’m Cassie Bustamante, editor of O.Henry, a sister publication of Business North Carolina. We have the joyful task of writing about the “art and soul” of Greensboro. I was invited to take a spin with today’s Daily Digest.

In the summer of 1999 just after I made my trek back from Maryland for my senior year at Wake Forest University, my life took a turn I hadn’t seen coming. I met a boy. Technically, a man, but who are we kidding? We were kids. We fell in love and our story began — right here in North Carolina.

We spent our young adulthood chasing careers and raising our own kiddos in many states: Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana and Maryland. But 20 years after our initial meet cute, we were ready to come back to the place where our paths had first intertwined. We heard — and answered — the siren call of North Carolina.

What was it that drew us back? Was it a longing to be back to that place in time where love felt young and new? Nah, we’re not that romantic. It was the affordability and the excellent state schools for our soon-to-be college-aged kids; the proximity to my husband’s favorite landscape, the ocean, and my own, the mountains; and, of course, the job change my husband took to get us physically here. Little did we know that I’d forge my way serendipitously and land at O.Henry magazine in Greensboro.

A couple of years after we made our journey “home,” Action Greensboro, a sector of the Chamber of Commerce, launched Boomerang Greensboro, a program that would help more than 200 people thus far return to the city that had once been their home. This initiative is filling the Gate City with community members who can help it continue to change for the better, creatively or economically.

For this story, I had the chance to sit down and talk with five “boomerangs” about what the “It” was that lured them back and what they hope to accomplish here, as well as how the new initiative supported them throughout the process. One thing is obvious in all of our stories: We’re all glad to be home.


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Today’s number:  54,000

Enrollment at universities and colleges in Guilford County, including UNC Greensboro (about 18,000) and N.C. A&T State University (13,500), according to the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce. UNCG has about 2,840 employees, while N.C. A&T has about 2,400.
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LindBrook, Samet team on big medical building in Greensboro
(Triad Business Journal)

LIndBrook Development and Samet Corp. are developing a nine-story medical office biulding and parking deck near Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro. LindBrook is led by veteran developer Jim Marshall, while Arthur Samet is CEO of his familiy-owned company.

Jury convicts lab owner in $11M N.C. Medicaid fraud case

Donald Booker, 57, was convinced by a federal jury of charges connected to a fradulent that took more than $11 million from the North Carolina Medicaid program. Booker owned Diagnostic Laboratories, a toxicology testing laboratory, and United Youth Care Services, which provided mental health and substance abuse treatment services. His co-defendant, Delores Jordan, pleaded guilty in December.

Novo Nordisk donates $6M to Durham Tech for life sciences center
(WRAL TechWire)

Durham Technical Community College will use a $6 million donation from Novo Nordisk to help pay for a new life sciences training center at the college’s main campus. In a $112 million bond referendum approved for the college, about $35.2 million was carved out to construct the training center, which is estimated to open in 2026.

Silicon Valley Bank expands in Charlotte
(The Charlotte Observer)

Silicon Valley Bank, based in Santa Clara, Calif., has received a county building permit for a $7 million renovation at The Line, a 16-story tower in Charlotte’s South End that opened last May. SVB Securities, the bank’s investment banking division, has moved into an office in the building, and the bank will be opening additional office space in the building this year

State treasurer hopes to cut family health premiums for state employees
(WRAL News)

North Carolina State Health Plan officials are researching the differences between the provider networks for Aetna and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina as they prepare for a shift in management of the health insurance plan. State Treasurer Dale Folwell, whose office oversees the plan, said he expects administration costs to go down as the plan moves to a new third-party administrator for the first time in 40 years.

Pinehurst seeking leeway in short-term rental allowance
(The Pilot)

Pinehurst’s Planning and Zoning Board looked at the possibility of defining rental programs managed by homeowners’ associations separately from traditional short-term rentals run by private companies and individual homeowners. Staff drafted a potential change to the village’s development ordinance adding “neighborhood housing accommodation” as a new lodging category.

Report shows airports add more than $72B to state economy
(Public Radio East)

North Carolina’s 72 publicly owned airports contribute more than $72 billion to the state’s economy each year – 11% of the state’s gross domestic product – and support nearly 333,000 jobs. A report released by the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation shows those jobs also provide nearly $23 billion in personal income and contribute $3.7 billion in state and local tax revenues every year.

Durham startup Plantd lands $13.6M in funding for growth
(WRAL TechWire)

Durham-based Plantd., which aims to deliver carbon negative materials for new home construction, has raised a combination of equity and debt including shares of convertible preferred tock, according to a filing. The filing said 31 investors participated in the round, with the company raising $13.6 million

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