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Business roundup: Swing Transport honored with safety award

Swing Transport Inc. recently received a Platinum Award by Great West Casualty Co. as part of the 2008 National Fleet Safety Awards Program.
This award is the highest bestowed and the second consecutive distinction for Swing Transport, headquartered in Salisbury. Swing Transport is a for-hire carrier with terminals in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.
The Fleet Safety Award Program drew more than 800 entries from across the country. Carriers were recognized for achieving a low preventable accident frequency per million miles of operation.
The Fleet Safety Awards program recognizes fleets in similar operations (truckload and less than truckload) with awards based on their year-end preventable accident results. The carriers then received a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Participatory award.
Diversified Graphics celebrates 35 years
Diversified Graphics, Inc., a printing and publishing company in Salisbury, is celebrating its 35th year in business.
The company began in 1974 as Kopy Kat Printing Center, later changed to Graphic Impressions and in 1994 became a closely held N.C. corporation with its current name. It was established by Frank Goodnight, who is now president of the company, and Diane Goodnight, vice president.
“I cannot believe that the time has gone by so quickly. We certainly have a lot of wonderful customers who have kept our business going,” says Diane Goodnight.
Diversified Graphics started as a quick copy shop but almost immediately saw the need for general commercial printing in the Rowan County area. It has a full range of printed products that include full color magazines, books, annual reports and Sunday school materials. The company is a full service printer with corporate concepts, design, pressroom, bindery, mailing and fulfillment services. It features some of the most modern equipment in use.
Leadership Rowan deadline May 15
The deadline for applications for 2009-10 Leadership Rowan is May 15.
This is the 18th year for Leadership Rowan, which is sponsored by the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce. Tuition for the program is $700 for Chamber members and $750 for non-members. Tuition is due by July 31.
Applications may be obtained by visiting www.rowanchamber.com or contacting the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce at 704-633-4221.
Duck Days community yard sale at Carillon
Carillon Assisted Living on N.C. 150 will be holding a Duck Days community yard sale from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. May 9.
Yard sale space is available. Participants should bring their own tables. There is no space rental fee, but donations are appreciated. For more details, call Carillon Assisted Living at 704-633-4666.
‘Heart of Gentiva Day’ set for Wednesday
Gentiva home health, a Gentiva Health Services company, is paying tribute to the clinicians who are its primary deliverers of patient care during “Heart of Gentiva Day” on Wednesday.
The companywide celebrations are part of Gentiva’s recognition of National Nurses Week.
Gentiva’s CEO and president, Tony Strange, proclaimed Heart of Gentiva Day as a time to both honor the work of all its clinicians and to spread the knowledge and appreciation of their service.
In Salisbury, Gentiva home health will kick off the event with a luncheon hosted by Julee Rose, director of public relations and communications, who will accompany nurses on patient visits during the day.
Gentiva’s more 11,000 clinicians serve nearly 500,000 patients annually from more than 380 locations in 39 states.
“Our clinicians are the heart of what we do as a company, representing who we are and what we stand for in the ever-important patient-clinician relationship,” said Marti Link, branch director. “We have dedicated this day to expressing our appreciation to this special group of individuals who make a difference each day, each visit, and with each patient and their families.”
Genesis Healthcare receives awardSalisbury Center Genesis Healthcare received the Center for Excellence Award at a recent Genesis Healthcare Southern Area Management Conference in Baltimore.
The award was given to the Salisbury Center out of 70 other Genesis facilities. It recognizes high standards in customer service, clinical excellence, staff excellence and business excellence.
Genesis Salisbury also received the Quality Mix Award, the Census award for maintaining high occupancy, the Staff Retention award for achieving 88.5 percent for 2008, the Clinical Excellence award for the delivery of high quality and good clinical outcomes and the president’s award for exceeding budgetary goals.
“It is an honor to accept these awards on behalf of our staff, families, patients and the Salisbury community,” Executive Administrator Patrick Foley said.
Salisbury Center serves the community as a 180-bed, short-term rehab, long-term nursing and assisted living facility.
Net income, earnings down at First Bancorp
TROY ó First Bancorp, the parent company of First Bank, had first quarter net income available to common shareholders of $3.14 million compared to $5.53 million reported in the first quarter of 2008.
Earnings per diluted common share were 19 cents in the first quarter of 2009 compared to 38 cents in the first quarter of 2008. Net interest income for the first quarter of 2009 amounted to $22.1 million, an 11.9 percent increase over the first quarter of 2008.
As of March 31, the bank’s total assets amounted to $2.7 billion, a 13.1 percent increase over the previous year. Total loans amounted to $2.2 billion, a 13.1 percent increase from a year earlier, and total deposits amounted to $2.1 billion at March 31, 2009, an 11.3 percent increase from a year earlier.
Approximately two-thirds of the balance sheet growth relates to the April 1 acquisition of Great Pee Dee Bancorp in South Carolina.
While the bank has no subprime loan exposure, the current economic environment has resulted in an increase in the bank’s problem loans, which has led to an increase in the necessary provision for loan losses. The provision for loan losses amounted to $4.49 million in the first quarter of 2009, compared to $1.53 million in the first quarter of 2008.
Although problem loans have increased, the bank’s loan quality ratios compare favorably to comparable holding companies with between $1 billion and $3 billion in assets. As of the last public data available on Dec. 31, 2008, nonaccrual loans as percent of total loans were 1.20 percent compared to a 2.20 percent peer average.
“While our earnings were negatively impacted by a higher provision for loan losses, we continue to be a profitable and sound institution,” said First Bank President and CEO Jerry Ocheltree. “The spreads we have been realizing on new and renewing loans and deposits have been steadily improving, which should enhance the net interest margin expansion we anticipate over the remainder of 2009.”
During the first quarter of 2009, the bank saw a $64 million increase in deposits and a $24 million decrease in loans outstanding. The decline in loans was a result of decreased demand in a recessionary economy.
CommunityOne Bank parent posts loss
ASHEBORO ó FNB United Corp., the holding company for CommunityOne Bank and its wholly owned subsidiary, Dover Mortgage Co., reported that following a $14.1 million provision to the allowance for loan losses, it reported a net loss of $6 million, or 53 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2009.
This compares to net income of $2.3 million, or 20 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter a year ago.
This provision for loan losses, which boosted the total allowance for loan losses to total loans ratio to 2.44 percent from 2.19 percent at Dec. 31, 2008, was in response to an increase in nonperforming loans and a weak housing market.
“The ongoing strains of the financial markets continued to present a challenging environment during the first quarter for FNB United, as well as for the entire banking industry,” said Michael C. Miller, President and CEO. “Still, we are pleased with our revenue generating opportunities and disciplined expense initiatives despite our need to provide for credit losses at a higher level than our historical experience.
“Although we anticipate the provision expense for the allowance for loan losses will continue to be elevated for the remainder of 2009, we are encouraged in our belief that our operating results will be sufficient to sustain our expectation to remain ‘well capitalized’ under regulatory guidelines, while we continue to improve our banking franchise.”
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