Members of Lenoir's city council are in agreement on what to spend money on, but not on where to get it from.
High Point and the furniture industry have been abuzz of late with talk that Heritage Home Group could be planning to move its corporate headquarters to the city.
Caldwell County saw a tiny uptick in its unemployment rate for January, but a state official called it an expected seasonal change – and most counties saw a larger seasonal increase.
More importantly, the number of people who reported being employed went up by more than 500.
Leaders at the Foothills Regional Airport should work to market the airport better to the public and potential businesses – the airport’s main problem, participants at a long-term planning meeting said Thursday.
Representatives from local governments, businesses and community colleges met with airport leaders in Morganton to discuss the future of the airport, its challenges and its opportunities. The meeting was the first step in creating a master airport layout plan.
Lenoir may start assessing residents and businesses with a fee to help pay for the cost of handling storm water runoff.
Establishing a storm water utility, giving city employees raises and updating water and sewer facilities were among topics discussed at the first planning meeting with the Lenoir City Council, department heads and city staff for the fiscal 2014-15 budget.
Lenoir agreed Tuesday night to purchase the controversial transload facility in partnership the county, but the deal nearly failed.
After a nearly hour-long closed session at the end of their meeting Tuesday night, members of the Lenoir City Council voted 4-3 to approve the deal.
Philip Wike was raised in farming cattle. His father and his grandfather before him raised cattle, and today the family owns and rents farms in Caldwell County, raising cattle, chickens, corn and more.
With farming, each day is a new experience, and he gets to work outdoors. But, he said, the most rewarding is getting to see things grow up, seeing the fruits of his labor, working for himself and being his own person.
For Wike, the newly elected president of the Caldwell County Cattlemen’s Association, there’s no other way to live.
In 1983, Barton Potter was running a drywall company, Potter Drywall, when his tape and plastic supplier proposed an idea: If someone built a machine to re-roll tape, they could make a lot of money.
Potter, skilled in engineering and mechanical work, decided to build one – going into business with the tape supplier until the beginning of 1984, when he bought him out and founded Granite Tape Company. The company takes in large rolls of manufactured tape, some as big as 68 inches, and re-rolls them into smaller rolls ready to be sold in a retail store.
The first few months of 2014 are bringing with them a few changes to the business landscape in downtown Lenoir.
At Carolina Mist Winery, the main wine rack sits empty, and on the counter is a single bottle of white wine – the last available for purchase from Lenoir’s sole winery.
Inside a small, brick building in Hudson, over the sound of scissors slicing into hair, the conversation flows without stalling, as it has for 45 years.
Opened as Hall’s Barbershop in 1969, under owner Stanley Hall, the building serves an identical purpose today. It’s now Andy’s Barbershop, operated by Andy Johnson, a barber who got his haircuts at Hall’s as a kid.
But calling Johnson a childhood customer of Hall’s is probably underselling the relationship.
After hearing of Blue Ridge Tissue Company for the first time, one would think that the product would be narrowly focused -- maybe a few varieties of tissue paper.
But from the company’s 78,000-square-foot facility on Yadkin River Road in Patterson, 25 distinct grades of tissue and nearly 2,000 other products are produced and shipped internationally.
“It’s not fair what they’ve done to us and the way they’ve done it,” said the former employee, who asked not to be named, adding that the 20 or so laid-off employees were mostly upholsterers hired in the past six months.
At each of eight tables, students hovered over a black, metal box, unpacking rainbow-colored wires and shining metal parts, diving in to assemble the pieces, looking more like surgeons on the operating table than students putting together computers.
Thursday was the third annual computer-building workshop with Google, and this year the focus was on teaching kids just what it takes to work in the technology and computer-based fields, including more than just the working parts of a computer.
Heritage Home Group told Broyhill Furniture employees of layoffs from its Lenoir operations on Monday, two employees told the News-Topic separately, but the company's management has not publicly announced it and did not return calls about it Wednesday.
For nearly four years, Nick Dula has worked to bring businesses to Lenoir and revitalize a struggling downtown.
But after next week the city will have to get along without him.
Tiffany Davis, a Hibriten High School graduate and a senior management major at Appalachian, came up with the idea as she watched students file in to networking events hosted by the business school. You’d see “black suit, black suit, black suit … cargo pants,” Davis said — students were making do with what they could afford, and not all could afford professional attire.
After environmental contamination derailed a previous deal for Lenoir and Caldwell County to buy the freight-transfer operation known as the transload facility, a smaller, less expensive deal emerged.
But while the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners signed off on it a month ago, the new proposal awaits a decision by the Lenoir City Council — which has not publicly discussed it, scheduled it for consideration any time soon and has no timetable for doing so.
Since Exela Pharma Sciences came to Lenoir in 2008, many people have had the same question for the company’s president and CEO.
“A lot of people ask me, ‘Why Lenoir?’” Phanesh Koneru said Tuesday while accepting the Industry of the Year award for Exela at the annual Caldwell Economic Development Celebration at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center. “Probably by God’s grace, maybe, and maybe part coincidence.”
The Caldwell County Economic Development Commission presented the Herman Anderson Award to Allen Stewart, a retired architect whom the EDC described as “a man of civic enterprise” whose far-reaching work in the community “exemplifies the qualities” of the award’s honorees.
Rose Noakes came to Lenoir deliberately, scrutinizing cities in the Southeast, staying in hotels for weeks at a time trying to find the place with the right ingredients — community, culture, people.
It wasn’t an easy journey, but when she got to Lenoir, it was an easy choice. Noakes was looking for a place to start her dream.
For Friday, Feb. 14, a number of divisions and services of Caldwell Memorial Hospital will open at 10:00 a.m.
It’s a product that’s uniquely Western North Carolinian, conjuring images of backwoods mountain men brewing spirits in copper stills nestled in hollows.
And soon, perhaps, a batch of traditional mountain apple brandy distilled in Lenoir could be bought halfway around the globe in China.
Mark Kiser used to work for what is now his competition, until his father encouraged him to break from the pack and start his own business.
That’s exactly what he did and in 1983 founded Marx Industries, a manufacturer of custom foam products -- cushions, pillows, mattresses, footstools and more for the furniture industry and other customers.
Caldwell County’s unemployment rate held steady in December at 7.5 percent, the N.C. Department of Commerce reported Wednesday.
That interrupts a string of five consecutive months of drops in the rate but still leaves the county with a rate as low as it had been since June 2008.
The Granite Falls Town Council agreed Monday to apply for a grant that would help a business move from Lenoir into a vacant building on North Main Street.
The price Caldwell County will pay to buy the transload facility off U.S. 321-A that moves freight between trucks and rail cars has fallen by more than two-thirds since November 2012.