Aug. 31, 2014 @ 08:09 AM

Lenoir's 'biocluster' catches agency's eye

In recent years, the cluster of biotechnology companies that has taken root and grown in the Lenoir area has been turning some heads among statewide economic development officials, who now are using the cluster as a potential lure for more biotech jobs.

Aug. 28, 2014 @ 03:53 PM

Number of local jobs goes up

The total number of Caldwell County residents who have jobs increased in July even as a seasonal swing in the job market statewide caused the local unemployment rate to inch slightly higher, the N.C. Labor and Economic Analysis Division reported.

Aug. 28, 2014 @ 08:59 AM

Company gets belated formal welcome to Lenoir

Bakers Waste opened its Lenoir plant last year, but on Wednesday morning, city and county officials, economic development representatives and the company's top staff gathered for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to celebrate the company’s success and formally welcome the company to the area.

Aug. 27, 2014 @ 08:58 AM

Lenoir wants better option for Smith's Crossroads

Lenoir officials hope to come up with better ideas than the state has proposed for replacing the interchange at Smith’s Crossroads, they said at the city’s Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday. The plan for a wide interchange and overpass would displace more than 20 businesses.

Aug. 25, 2014 @ 09:41 AM

Expiration of tax credits could slow local development

Historic properties in Lenoir like the Center Theater and the old Blue Bell factory on College Avenue may be facing tougher paths to rehabilitation, as special tax credits that help property owners are set to expire at the end of the year.

If the state’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits are allowed to expire at the end of this year as planned, it could put a damper on the development of historic buildings all over North Carolina, including Lenoir and Caldwell County.

Aug. 22, 2014 @ 07:44 PM

6 from Caldwell get college scholarships from electric company

Six Caldwell County students received scholarships from Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp.

Aug. 20, 2014 @ 09:56 AM

Google brings state’s first Googlefest to Lenoir

Google will be taking over the J. E. Broyhill Civic Center in a few weeks to host a free conference, teaching area educators, emergency responders, seniors, nonprofits and small business owners the ins and outs of several Google products.

Experts will be on hand to teach the newest and best Google has to offer, from the wearable computer Google Glass, to Google apps, Gmail, Google Drive and more.

Aug. 19, 2014 @ 12:23 PM

County OKs retail study, recruitment

Caldwell County officials hope retail development will get a shot in the arm from hiring a firm to both study the local market and recruit potential retailers to the area.

Local officials have been working for years to make this study a reality, allocating funds in the two prior county budgets, but never finding an arrangement that worked until now, said Deborah Murray, executive director of the county’s Economic Development Commission.

Aug. 18, 2014 @ 04:20 PM

Smoky Mountain Center cuts costs with more personal care

In the last two years, Smoky Mountain LME/MCO, a mental health service provider in Western North Carolina, has reduced its cost of services by more than $20 million while increasing its number of providers and the number of patients it treats, agency officials said Friday.

For the past two years, Smoky Mountain has been able to operate under a waiver that allows the organization to bypass certain federal Medicaid requirements.

Aug. 13, 2014 @ 03:10 PM

Man goes to prison for mortgage fraud in Caldwell County

Roger Dean Bailey Jr., 41, of Hickory, formerly a sales manager with Homes America in Hudson, was sentenced Wednesday to two and half years in federal prison for his role in a mortgage and consumer fraud conspiracy.

Aug. 13, 2014 @ 06:53 AM

Past, future of iconic building praised

The three-story, 142,000-square-foot former headquarters of Broyhill Furniture Industries, built in the 1960s, once was a gleaming icon of the region’s leading industry, and it drew a couple dozen community leaders Tuesday to praise it for what it is now: an icon of Caldwell County’s hopes for economic transformation. The building, bought by pharmaceutical maker Exela Pharma Sciences in April 2013, is in transformation itself, partially renovated, partially occupied and partially vacant. Tuesday was its ceremonial ribbon-cutting as Exela's headquarters.

Aug. 06, 2014 @ 09:56 AM

Plan could raise city's water rates

Even if the contract terms that the Caldwell County commissioners have proposed for buying water from Lenoir had been in place last year, the county would still have fallen short of its minimum water purchase.

But the amount would be so close — less than 14 million gallons — that at current rates, the county might pay less than $30,000 to make up the difference, instead of the $130,000 it paid this past fiscal year.

All water customers served by Lenoir and the county water system could wind up paying higher rates, however, since Lenoir would have to make up for that loss of $100,000 a year in revenue it now counts on to balance its water system’s budget, city officials said Tuesday.

Aug. 05, 2014 @ 04:37 PM

County disputes water contract

Caldwell County wants to change the terms of the contract it signed to buy water from Lenoir in 2007.

The agreement runs until 2022, but board chairman Clay Bollinger called it “monopolistic,” saying it’s “the most unfair thing I’ve seen in my six years” on the board of commissioners.

Aug. 03, 2014 @ 01:43 PM

Project aims to help Lenoir make better first impression

A group of local residents and city officials are taking the first steps to try to fix the the north Main Street corridor. The goal is to create a gateway to downtown Lenoir that puts the city’s best foot forward, improving the appearance and creating a safe, walkable area that makes a good first impression

Aug. 03, 2014 @ 01:35 AM

Public records for Aug. 3, 2014

Aug. 03, 2014 @ 01:17 AM

Column: Caldwell County officials get pat on back

Many eyes were on Sawmills last Thursday at the ribbon-cutting for Carolina Locust Inc., a new sawmill with ambitious plans for sustainable development and alternative energy.

And not just the eyes of local government and business officials.

Aug. 01, 2014 @ 08:01 AM

Sawmills gets 21st-century sawmill and more

The Town of Sawmills once again has a sawmill.

But it’s going to be a sawmill that in many ways the town’s early 20th-century sawmill operators couldn’t have imagined.

Aug. 01, 2014 @ 05:57 AM

Lenoir student among Google's first official interns

By the time Keith Miller graduated from West Caldwell High School and left Lenoir to begin studying computer science at Appalachian State University, Google's data center had already been operating for a few years, but he didn't think he'd ever have a shot at working there.

Jul. 31, 2014 @ 08:18 AM

Caldwell County unemployment drops

Caldwell County’s unemployment rate for June was 7.3 percent, down from 7.5 percent in May, and the number of people counted as unemployed dropped by 145, to 2,670, the N.C. Division of Employment Security reported.

Jul. 25, 2014 @ 01:48 PM

Scam makes people think electric bill overdue

Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp. is warning about a scam that seeks to get customers' debit card or credit card information.

Jul. 16, 2014 @ 05:03 PM

Avery Dennison celebrates half a century in Lenoir

Work stopped around noon at Avery Dennison Wednesday, and the more than 260 employees sauntered outside, to ice cream, barbecue and games in recognition of the plant’s 50 years of operation in Lenoir.

Avery Dennison, a global manufacturer of labeling and packaging materials, first came to Lenoir in July 1964 and since that time has grown and developed into a Lenoir staple.

Jul. 16, 2014 @ 06:24 AM

Jobs are here if you have the skills, teachers say

There is not a shortage of jobs in Caldwell County for people who have the right technical skills, said three educators who were part of a group that toured 11 local industries in recent weeks.

But they also heard repeatedly from the employers that even those who have technical skills often seem to lack vital “soft skills,” such as the ability to show up at work on time, every day, and to meet deadlines.

Jul. 15, 2014 @ 12:47 PM

New furniture company could bring 150 jobs

A Florida-based furniture company is considering placing a manufacturing plant in Caldwell County, with perhaps 150 jobs over the next three years, county officials said Monday.

The company, identified only as “Project Gator,” is considering multiple sites in several states, Deborah Murray, executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, told the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners. It would invest $800,000 in property and equipment at the site it chooses.

Jul. 15, 2014 @ 11:28 AM

Furniture Brands' bankruptcy plan approved

Nearly all of the people and businesses that were owed money by the former Furniture Brands International voted in favor of the company’s final liquidation plan, which received approval Monday by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge.

Jul. 11, 2014 @ 10:24 AM

Pace of Furniture Brands' liquidation may dent executive's bonus

Though the initial stages of Furniture Brands International’s bankruptcy moved quickly, the final stages have moved more slowly than company and court officials expected.

That may cost the corporate officer in charge of the company’s remnants some of her bonus, but it is unclear whether in the end she will get paid less.