By the numbers

Northwest Georgia region: 25,844

Bartow: 4,206

Catoosa: 1,290

Chattooga: 583

Dade: 305

Fannin: 640

Floyd: 3,450

Gilmer: 678

Gordon: 2,236

Haralson: 584

Murray: 901

Paulding: 2,212

Pickens: 736

Polk: 1,016

Walker: 1,330

Whitfield: 5,677

Georgia Ports support 439,220 jobs in state

Georgia's ports support 439,220 full- and part-time jobs across the state, including 25,844 jobs in Northwest Georgia, according to a study released Monday by the University of Georgia's Selig Center for Economic Growth.

The UGA study found the deepwater ports at Savannah and Brunswick, Ga., are helping support 19 percent more jobs, or 70,000 positions, compared to three years earlier. Georgia ports now account for 9 percent of total state employment, or one out of 11 jobs. Personal income derived from port-supported jobs totaled $25 billion statewide last year.

"Deepwater ports are one of Georgia's strongest economic engines, fostering the development of virtually every industry," UGA Economist Jeffrey Humphreys said.

Even though Northwest Georgia is hundreds of miles from the Atlantic coast and Georgia's ports, shipments into such ports helped sustain 5,667 jobs in Whitfield County, 2,236 jobs in Gordon County, 1,330 jobs in Walker County, 1,290 jobs in Catoosa County, 901 jobs in Murray County, 583 jobs in Chattooga County and 305 jobs in Dade County.


Lowe's CEO retires, company shares rise

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Lowe's chairman and CEO is retiring at a time when the home improvement chain is looking to rev up business and compete better with its rival Home Depot.

Investors approved of the move, sending Lowe's shares up more than 5 percent.

Robert A. Niblock, a 25-year Lowe's veteran, will stay in his roles on an interim basis while Lowe's looks for a successor. He has served as chairman and CEO for 13 years.

The company hasn't capitalized as well as Home Depot on the solid housing market, and last month Lowe's posted a 16 percent drop in profit for the fourth quarter and a nearly 2 percent drop in revenue.

Both Lowe's and Home Depot are heading into their busy spring seasons in a healthy housing market, though there is concern of a slowdown.

Lowe's has more than 2,390 home improvement and hardware stores.


Court says mining may have to be cut

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A judge has ruled U.S. government officials engaged in regional planning for an area that supplies 40 percent of the nation's coal must consider reducing coal mining to fight climate change.

Friday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Brian Morris in Great Falls, Mont., applies to the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana.

Morris rejected U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials' argument climate change could be addressed during evaluations of plans for individual mine expansions.

The judge told the government and environmental groups to work together on additional planning for the top U.S. coal producing region.

Environmentalists praised the ruling but Morris denied their request to halt mining.

Land management bureau officials and coal industry representatives did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.


Uber sells Asian business to Grab

BANGKOK — Ride-hailing giant Uber is selling its business in Southeast Asia to regional rival Grab while gaining a robust stake in the fast-growing ridesharing, food delivery and financial services business.

Grab said Monday that Uber will take a 27.5 percent stake and a seat on its board as part of the deal. Financial details were not disclosed.

Since becoming Uber's CEO in September, Dara Khosrowshahi has been maneuvering to make the company profitable before a planned initial public offering expected next year.

The company's full-year net loss widened to $4.5 billion in 2017 as it endured multiple scandals and the departure of its co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick.

The deal enables Uber to keep a foothold in the increasingly affluent market of 640 million people while cutting its losses.

"It will help us double down on our plans for growth as we invest heavily in our products and technology to create the best customer experience on the planet," Khosrowshahi said in a statement.


Tesla starts community college courses

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Electric car maker Tesla Inc. is fostering community college training programs for what could be new blue-collar jobs as mechanics for the growing number of battery-powered vehicles.

A first group of Tesla technicians is set to graduate next week from a 12-week training program at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte. The company said a second group is nearing the end of classes at Rio Hondo College in Whittier, Calif.

Courses focus on skills specific to electric vehicles such as battery architecture and charging technology and particularly servicing Tesla vehicles. A spokeswoman said Monday the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company pays for the instructor, curriculum and classroom or workshop equipment among other costs.

Tesla produces or plans to make passenger cars, a pickup truck and semi trucks.