Sonoco marking anniversary at the Big Board

Hartsville-based Sonoco is a global provider of packaging products and services, such as recycling.

The bell tolls for . Sonoco.

At least it does today.

The Hartsville-based global packaging business, one of South Carolina's largest publicly traded companies, will belatedly mark its 115th anniversary by ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange at 4 p.m.

Doing the honors at the Big Board will be Jack Sanders, president and chief executive officer.

Once called Southern Novelty Co., Sonoco's actual anniversary was Saturday. Founded in 1899, the multinational has annual sales of nearly $5 billion, more than 19,900 employees and 335 operations in 33 countries. Locally it has a recycling center on Tellico Road in North Charleston. It also operates Charleston County's recycling center.

Sonoco contributes more than $1 billion a year to the South Carolina economy, creating nearly 9,300 jobs and generating more than $473 million in income for state residents, according to a 2013 study by the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business.

The new ownership at one of North Charleston's largest hotels has ordered up its first major change.

The former Sheraton property on Goer Drive that switched its name to InnPlace Hotel last year has been rebranded again, this time to Charleston Plaza Hotel.

The move comes weeks after the 289-room property changed hands for nearly $5.9 million, or about $20,300 a key. The new owner, TD North Charleston Hotel LLC, is affiliated with Greenville-based JHM Hotels, which also owns two Marriott-branded lodgings on Lockwood Drive on the Charleston peninsula and is known as a solid operator.

It wouldn't be at all surprising if the name of the North Charleston property changes again - back to a national flag.

Visible from U.S. Interstate 26, the high-profile, full-service hotel isn't far from the Boeing South Carolina campus, Tanger Outlet Center and the Charleston Area Convention Center. It opened in 1982.

Charleston's Darius Rucker can take a bow thanks to his South Carolina fan base, which helped vault him among the top 10 grossing acts as measured by's latest "Hot Tours" tally.

The locally based country star and co-founder of Hootie and the Blowfish was ranked ninth on last week's list for his "True Believers" tour, which played U.S. cities during the first quarter.

"Top numbers came from his sold out performance at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia . on Feb. 21," reported Friday. "The Charleston native played for a crowd of 12,284 in his home state with sales totaling $514,530." That works out to just under $42 per person.

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Additional True Believers tour dates are booked through mid-October. The stops include an Aug. 23 show at Coastal Carolina University in Conway.

Union fervor surrounding Boeing is picking up again in North Charleston.

On Tuesday, representatives of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, or SPEEA, will hold an open house 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 5055 International Blvd., just down the road from the Boeing campus.

The purpose of the meeting is to recruit new members and educate six members who live in the Charleston area about their payouts from Boeing's $47 million arbitration award to 484 employees who worked in California, said union spokesman Bill Dugovich.

The awards range from a few dollars to more than $400,000. They're designed to "make whole" the employees for the pay and benefits they should have received under SPEEA contracts. The settlement came after 14 years.

Representing engineers, technical workers and pilots, the union also is holding the event for local aerospace professionals to meet and learn about union representation.

Another Boeing union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, or IAM, recently opened a hall in North Charleston. It's seeking to build interest to organize workers at the local Boeing 787 Dreamliner campus.