Beaufort lawyer to lead McNair firm

David J. Tigges has been elected managing shareholder/CEO of the McNair Law Firm. He succeeds Bill Youngblood, who had led the 126-lawyer, nine-office firm since 2003. The firm is the Midlands' third largest. Tigges was with Bethea, Jordan & Griffin in Hilton Head Island when he negotiated the firm's merger with McNair in 2004. Tigges headed two offices in Beaufort County while specializing in business and tax law. Tigges will spend about three days a week at the firm's Columbia headquarters. The firm will move this summer to the new Main & Gervais office building from the Tower at 1301 Gervais, its home for more than 30 years.

Sonoco profits up; outlook is, too

HARTSVILLE - Packaging giant Sonoco Products Co. said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit rose as its volume grew. The company increased its full-year adjusted earnings guidance in light of its projection that business conditions will improve and its pension expenses will fall. Sonoco earned $47.1 million, or 46 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. That compares with $36 million, or 36 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 7 percent to $1 billion. For the year, profit declined to $151.5 million, or $1.50 per share, from $164.6 million, or $1.63 per share, in the prior year.

Denny's serves 2 million free Grand Slams

SPARTANBURG - Denny's said it served about 2 million free Grand Slam breakfasts nationwide Tuesday. The Spatanburg-based chain said some of its restaurants served more than 200 breakfasts an hour. The deal, promoted in a Super Bowl TV commercial, has given the company a boost. Nearly 300,000 people have registered for its new rewards program. The first 500,000 people who sign up will receive a free burger and fries.

Incentives luring company to Rock Hill

ROCK HILL - A company that makes food packaging machinery will get incentives to move to Rock Hill from Charlotte. Bradman Lake will bring 50 jobs off North Cherry Road. The Rock Hill City Council agreed to provide rebates on the first five years of property taxes on land, buildings and equipment. York County pitched in late last year with a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes deal.

Bernanke lays out plans, including tighter credit

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke began Wednesday to outline the central bank's strategy for reeling in stimulus money once the economic recovery is more firmly rooted. The Dillon native said the Fed will likely start to tighten credit by boosting the interest rate it pays banks on money they leave at the central bank. Doing so would raise rates tied to commercial banks' prime rate, leading companies and ordinary Americans to pay more to borrow. In his prepared remarks to a House committee, Bernanke indicated the Fed is still months away from raising rates or draining most of the stimulus money it injected to rescue the financial system. He said the recovery still needs support from record-low interest rates.

Snowstorm delays reports from Treasury, Commerce

A severe snowstorm has forced the federal government to do something it seldom does - postpone release of several monthly economic reports. The Treasury Department said that the release of the monthly budget report for January, which had been scheduled for Wednesday, will not occur until next week. The Commerce Department said there will be at least a one-day delay for release of its report on January retail sales and the monthly look at business inventories. Both reports, which had been scheduled to be released today, were tentatively scheduled to be released a day late, on Friday.

Andrew Shain, The (Rock Hill) Herald and The Associated Press contributed