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Headline Roundup: Chiquita Talks With Brazilian Firms, Filling South Charlotte's 'Big Hole,' More

Chiquita has opened talks with two Brazilian firms who are trying to break up the Charlotte based company’s plans to merge with the Irish produce company Fyffes.

Safra and the Cutrale group will now be able to access internal Chiquita data and work with company executives to come up with a final offer to buy the company.

Chiquita is still pushing shareholders to vote for the Fyffes deal. Safra and Cutrale had threatened to take their offer directly to shareholders if Chiquita executives didn’t cooperate.

Dollar General Makes Hostile Bid For Family Dollar
Meanwhile, Dollar General is taking its offer to buy Family Dollar directly to shareholders. Matthews-based Family Dollar has twice rejected Dollar General, whose all cash offer now stands at $80 a share.

Family Dollar’s board prefers a $74.50 a share cash-and-stock deal from Dollar Tree. Family Dollar says the Dollar Tree deal would face fewer regulatory challenges.

Dollar General says its offer is better for shareholders. And by making a bid directly to shareholders, Dollar General can now talk to federal regulators about antitrust concerns. Analysts say if regulators indicate they’d sign off, it could give Dollar General more leverage with Family Dollar shareholders.

Development Could Come To South Charlotte's 'Big Hole'
A 19 acre construction site in south Charlotte that’s been unfinished for a decade may soon be developed. The Charlotte Observer reports the developer Harris Land Co. has asked the city to rezone the property at Park Road and Gleneagles Road.

The new development would be called Quail Hollow Village and would include retail and office space, apartments, and a 200 room hotel.

The site was excavated in 2004 for a project that was to include a Saks Fifth Avenue, but it was canceled and the large holes were fenced in.

Senate Race Debate To Go On Without Hagan
North Carolina’s two largest newspapers say they plan to hold a debate next month for candidates in the US Senate race even though Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan says she won’t take part.

Time Warner Cable News plans to air the Charlotte Observer and the Raleigh News and Observer debate live on October 21. Republican house speaker Thom Tillis and Libertarian candidate Sean Haw have agreed to participate. Senator Hagan’s campaign says she and Tillis have debated on TV once already and two other debates are scheduled before Election Day.

SC House Speaker Indicted
South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell was indicted today on public corruption charges. A grand jury in Richland County charged Harrell with six counts of using campaign funds for personal expenses, two counts of misconduct in office, and one count of filing false campaign disclosure reports.

The indictment comes after a judge ruled the state attorney general had the right to prosecute Harrell. The speaker had argued that the matter should be handled by the House ethics committee, which has no legal power.

Father Charged In Death Of His Five Children
Authorities plan to charge a South Carolina man in the deaths of his five children. Police say 32 year old Timothy Ray Jones Jr. is being held in Mississippi on child neglect charges.

Officers say Jones led them to a secluded clearing in Alabama where the children’s bodies were found wrapped in individual garbage bags. Jones is suspected of killing the children in South Carolina before taking their bodies to Alabama.

The children ranged in age from 1 to 8 and were reported missing by their mother on Sept. 3.

South Carolina governor Nikki Haley canceled a fund raiser scheduled for tonight in New York because of the tragedy.

CHS Cutting Jobs, Budget
Carolinas Healthcare System says it’s cut about 100 jobs as it looks to slash $110 million from next year’s budget. The company says the cuts are partly in response to federal and state budget cuts and the refusal of both North and South Carolina to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act.