Rome News-Tribune: Business

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Monday 11/24/2014
Gov. nominates Gretchen Corbin as commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia
Updated: November 25, 2014 - 1:59 am

Rome’s Gretchen Corbin has been nominated by Gov. Nathan Deal to serve as the commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia, the governor announced Monday.

GNTC builds environmentally-friendly green home at Calhoun campus
Updated: November 24, 2014 - 1:32 pm

A year-long construction project designed to teach how to build homes in an Earth-friendly way reached completion November 19 on Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Gordon County Campus in Calhoun, Georgia. Leaders from across the region, participating vendors, and college administration were on hand for the ribbon-cutting of the new EarthCraft home built at the college.

Harbin surgeon named president of the Georgia Vascular Society
Updated: November 24, 2014 - 10:31 am

Harbin Clinic, the largest physician-owned, multi-specialty healthcare group in Georgia, has announced that longtime vascular surgeon Dr. John Kirkland has been installed as president of the Georgia Vascular Society, an organization dedicated to promoting the science and art of the diagnosis and management of peripheral vascular disease. Dr. Kirkland is a member of the founding council of the GVS, has been president-elect for the past year, and is now serving as the second president of the organization

Sunday 11/23/2014
Push made for all-electric vehicles
Posted: November 23, 2014

Georgia Power Co. has launched a new electric vehicle charger rebate program for business customers.

Saturday 11/22/2014
Robinson buys 6.18 acres of former Chieftains land
Posted: November 22, 2014

Rome developer Wayne Robinson has purchased the 6.18 acres of land that Greater Community Bank foreclosed against Chieftains Museum Inc. earlier this year. Robinson paid $120,000 for the property.

Friday 11/21/2014
No deal on former Miller & Richards Funeral Home Heritage Chapel
Posted: November 21, 2014

Negotiations are still underway for the sale of the former Miller & Richards Funeral Home Heritage Chapel.

Foreign trade delegation visits Suzuki, schools
Posted: November 21, 2014

Trade representatives from five countries toured Rome on Thursday with stops at Berry College, Suzuki and Darlington. “We’re all about seeing what’s going on in Rome,” said Louise Fortin, director of economic affairs for the provincial government of Quebec, Canada. “It’s a fact-finding mission.”

Bekaert plant plans soft restart; officials monitoring area say no chemical contamination so far
Updated: November 26, 2014 - 8:50 pm

Bekaert Corp. Plant Manager Gary Downey said Thursday he expects some manufacturing to resume soon in the wake of Wednesday’s fire.

Thursday 11/20/2014
Unemployment claims up since last month, down over the year - Floyd Co. nets 600 more jobs
Updated: November 20, 2014 - 11:05 am

Unemployment initial claims in Floyd County were up by 42 percent in October when compared with September but down by 23 percent when compared with October 2013, according to Georgia Department of Labor figures.

Floyd County to grade 100-acre industrial site in Shannon
Posted: November 20, 2014

Floyd County is expected to issue a request for proposals to grade the 100-acre industrial site at the northwest corner of the intersection of Ga. 53 and Ga. 140 within the next 10 days.

Judge approves auction plans for News Publishing Company
Updated: November 20, 2014 - 1:04 am

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge on Wednesday approved a proposed auction of the Rome News-Tribune and News Publishing Co.’s weekly publications, a decision that sets the stage for a possible formal sale in late January.

Wednesday 11/19/2014
Nissin Brake Georgia Inc. in Walker County cited for serious safety violations
Updated: November 21, 2014 - 11:25 am

Nissin Brake Georgia Inc. in Walker County was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 11 safety and health violations following a June 2014 inspection at the manufacturer’s Rock Spring facility.

Tuesday 11/18/2014
Trion Fire Department gets grant from Georgia-Pacific’s Bucket Brigade program
Posted: November 18, 2014

Trion, GA, Nov. 18, 2014 – The Trion Fire Department is among 50 grant recipients of Georgia-Pacific’s Bucket Brigade program this year. The department was awarded $2,000 to help fund equipment needs.

Calhoun Premium Outlets announces holiday hours
Updated: November 18, 2014 - 10:05 am

Atlanta-area Simon shopping centers including Calhoun Premium Outlets announced today enhanced holiday season opening hours to accommodate the needs of busy holiday shoppers.

Revenue sharing agreement reached between local development authorities
Updated: November 21, 2014 - 8:22 am

After close to seven months of negotiation, the Rome Floyd County Development Authority and the Development Authority of Floyd County have reached an agreement to share Payment in Lieu of Taxes receipts.

Monday 11/17/2014
Why airfare keeps rising despite lower oil prices
Posted: November 17, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. airlines are saving tens of millions of dollars every week because of lower prices for jet fuel, their largest expense. So why don't they share some of the savings with passengers?

Simply put: Airlines have no compelling reason to offer any breaks. Planes are full. Investors want a payout. And new planes are on order.

In fact, fares are going higher. And those bag fees that airlines instituted in 2008 when fuel prices spiked aren't going away either.

In the 12 months ended in September, U.S. airlines saved $1.6 billion on jet fuel. That helped them post a 5.7 percent profit margin in the first three quarters of this year, robust for the industry but lagging behind the 10 percent average for the Standard & Poor's 500.

In the past six years, airlines have done a great job of adjusting the number of flights to fall just short of demand. As a result, those who want to fly will pay a premium to do so. Airlines are selling a record 85.1 percent of their domestic seats. Thanks to several mega-mergers, four big airlines control the vast majority of flights, leaving very little room for another airline to undercut fares.

With that in mind, here's a closer look at what's going on with airfare and the price of jet fuel:

— The average domestic airline ticket during the first nine months of this year rose 3.1 percent to $374.96, according to an Associated Press analysis of data from the Airlines Reporting Corp., which processes ticket transactions for airlines and travel agencies. That figure doesn't include another $56.32 in taxes and fees that passengers pay.

— In the 12-month period ending in September, U.S. airlines burned through nearly 16.2 billion gallons of fuel. They paid an average of $2.97 a gallon — down from $3.07 the prior year, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. That 10-cent drop saved the industry $1.6 billion. Fuel prices have since fallen further. United Airlines estimates it will pay $2.76 to $2.81 a gallon during the last three months of the year.

— Put another way: U.S. airlines burn through 311 million gallons of fuel in a week. Lower fuel prices are saving them $31 million a week.

— Granted, with 751 million passengers carried last year that averages out to a savings of $2.15 for each leg of a trip a passenger takes: $4.30 on a roundtrip non-stop ticket or $8.61 on a roundtrip connecting itinerary.

— Fuel accounts for 34 percent of an airline's operating costs. The non-fuel costs include salaries and benefits, lease payments on airplanes, maintenance and fees for landing at airports. That doesn't include the cost of reservation systems, marketing or food and drinks.

— Airlines are also reinvesting in their planes, airport terminals and computers. In the first nine months of this year, U.S. carriers spent $10.2 billion on capital improvements, according to the industry's trade and lobbying group, Airlines for America. That more than $1 billion a month, the highest pace since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

— Airlines are on the largest jet-buying spree in the history of aviation, ordering more than 10,000 new planes with manufacturers Airbus and Boeing in the past five years. Those orders are for new, fuel efficient planes. A temporary drop in oil prices shouldn't slow that process. New jets last 15 to 20 years and the buying is driven by cheap credit almost as much as high oil prices.

— Money is also going back to investors. American Airlines this year paid its first dividend in 34 years, while Delta Air Lines restored its payout last year. Southwest Airlines, which has paid one for more than 37 years, boosted its payout by 50 percent this spring. The airlines are all also buying back large amounts of their own stock.

— Airlines responded to high fuel prices by limiting the number of flights, giving them the power to charge higher fares. Now, Wall Street analysts are worried that lower oil prices are causing them to recklessly add new routes or extra flights where profits aren't guaranteed. Hunter Keay, an analyst with Wolfe Research, recently wrote in a note to investors that the beauty of high oil prices is that they "force airlines to make hard choices that are almost always good for the long term investability of the space, mainly around capacity decisions and fees."


Scott Mayerowitz can be reached at

Sienna & Bellini opens in the mall
Updated: November 17, 2014 - 8:44 am

Mount Berry Square Mall welcomes Sienna & Bellini with a ribbon cutting this weekend. The boutique features European-style clothing for women.

Sunday 11/16/2014
2 new single-family starts, detailed sales tax data listed in Monday's Roman Record
Posted: November 16, 2014

Local builders pulled a couple of permits for new single-family homes in the Armuchee area last week that were valued in excess of $200,000. Readers can get more information about both projects in Monday’s edition of Roman Record.

Wayne Robinson buys 239 Broad St., says another restaurant in the works
Posted: November 16, 2014

Builder turned restaurateur Wayne Robinson said he plans to bring another restaurant choice to downtown Rome before the spring of 2015.

Soymet hoping to expand fuel network
Posted: November 16, 2014

Lindsey Evans is looking to rein in his Soymet alternative fuel enterprise so he can ultimately expand it.