May. 21, 2014 @ 10:49 AM

NCDOT unveils Smith's Crossroads proposal

A proposed overhaul of Smith's Crossroads would ease traffic flow but would change the face of the city there, forcing the relocation of all of the businesses from Rite Aid and Burger King north to Mayflower Seafood and Bojangle's, and on the north side of Wilkesboro Boulevard all the way to ALDI.

May. 20, 2014 @ 08:40 AM

History, family and love at Betsey's Ole Country Store

In 1924, when Mortimer was a booming logging town, a small store was built at the corner of what are now N.C. 90 and Brown Mountain Beach Road, serving as a general store and post office.

Betsey's Ole Country Store is perched deep in the woods of the Wilson Creek area, a short distance from Mortimer campground and the previous Civilian Conservation Corps headquarters there.

May. 18, 2014 @ 09:02 AM

Bridge bicycle race is over

For 25 years, a bicycle race known as "the Bridge" led thousands of cyclists from downtown Lenoir to the top of Grandfather Mountain, winding along more than 100 miles of around Caldwell County's roads.

But this year's Bridge Incredible Challenge, which had been planned for June, isn't happening, and it looks like the race may never be ridden again.

May. 16, 2014 @ 08:31 AM

Brewing wine and faith at Six Waterpots

A house that looks like it would fit nicely on a postcard sent home from the English countryside sits just as comfortably on the rolling hills of Hudson, surrounded by rows of vines, standing tall and distinct with its timber and plaster, Tudor-style construction.

May. 15, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

List of delinquent taxes may hold good news

Tax collections are up, and the amount of overdue taxes is down, which could be a sign of an improving economy in Caldwell County, a county tax official said.

May. 02, 2014 @ 08:06 AM

Lenoir hires new head of downtown development

A woman who has taught economics and political science in Italy has been named downtown development director for the city of Lenoir

May. 01, 2014 @ 08:59 AM

Heritage Home moving HQ to NC

Heritage Home Group, which includes Broyhill Furniture and Thomasville operations in Caldwell County, is moving its headquarters from St. Louis to North Carolina.

Apr. 30, 2014 @ 08:36 AM

March saw surge in local labor force

The number of people in Caldwell County reported as employed went up by nearly 300, but the number of unemployed went up by more than 150. Combined, that meant that the size of the county’s labor force climbed by more than 400, a possible sign that some of the long-term unemployed who had dropped out of the labor force feel encouraged enough to look for jobs again.

But it also meant the county's unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage points, to 7.4 percent.

Apr. 23, 2014 @ 09:04 AM

Downtown developers may get boost from special building code

In a recent trip to New Bern for an economic development conference, Lenoir city officials learned of a building code that could dramatically lower the cost of renovating historic buildings downtown.

Apr. 22, 2014 @ 11:18 AM

Size, cost of transload deal changes again

The price and size of the deal for Caldwell County and Lenoir to buy the freight-transfer site known as the transload facility keeps shrinking.

The Caldwell County Board of Commissioners voted in favor of a deal Monday night that includes less than two-thirds of the land that the commissioners approved buying Feb. 3 and the Lenoir City Council approved April 15. The cost is expected to decline too, but by how much is not certain yet because a new assessment is needed, County Attorney David Lackey said.

Apr. 20, 2014 @ 09:53 AM

New brew pub coming to Lenoir

Stephen Loe, a chef and brewer, bought the former Greyhound bus station at 1048 Harper Ave., across the street from Robin's Nest, last week and plans to convert the 2,400-square-feet building into a micro pub with indoor dining space for about 50 and patio space for another 25-30, said Loe's father, Bob Loe, who will serve as assistant brewer and financial officer.

Apr. 22, 2014 @ 10:22 AM

Closing of Kincaid plant will ripple through Hudson

For years, employees at the Kincaid Furniture plant in Hudson filed into the Food Fare convenience store on Main Street, right across the plant's sprawling parking lot.

"It was great here," store manager Johnny Moretz said. "On Thursdays, when they would get paid, there would be three lines at the counter."

Now, they trickle in.

In a few months, they will stop coming in altogether.

Apr. 18, 2014 @ 03:49 PM

La-Z-Boy to cease U.S. casegoods production

La-Z-Boy Inc. will cease production of furniture at its Kincaid Furniture plant in Hudson this fall and will close two North Wilkesboro warehouses, laying off 100 people. The company didn't provide a breakdown of how many jobs will be left in Hudson.

Apr. 16, 2014 @ 02:10 PM

Lenoir takes ownership of transload business

Lenoir agreed Tuesday to the formal business agreement for operating the so-called transload freight-transfer facility on U.S. 321-A.

It is the first time the city has agreed to take part-ownership in a business, City Attorney Ed Blair said.

Apr. 13, 2014 @ 08:23 AM

Spring furniture market called success

Returning with new orders in hand from last week's International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, officials from local companies say the spring market was a resounding success.

Apr. 13, 2014 @ 01:47 AM

Column: New Bern shows potential for downtowns

Last week, along with Matt Underwood, Keith Nordan and Jenny Wheelock, I attended the North Carolina Main Street Conference in New Bern. This annual meeting was originally scheduled for January but had been postponed due to a winter storm.

New Bern itself is an interesting example of what can be done on Main Street.

Apr. 12, 2014 @ 11:43 AM

3 new Heritage Home executives to be in High Point

Heritage Home Group still has not publicly addressed rumors that it will move its headquarters from St. Louis to High Point, but three newly announced executives will be based in High Point, the St. Louis Business Journal reported Friday.

Apr. 11, 2014 @ 03:39 PM

High Point Market leaders tout high buyer numbers

High Point Market leaders say aggressive efforts to draw more traffic to the furniture trade show are paying off.

The number of furniture buyers registered for the spring market, which ended Thursday, was up 6.85 percent, and the number of buying companies at market was 12.38 percent higher than last fall.

Apr. 10, 2014 @ 09:17 AM

Caldwell County unemployment at pre-recession level

Caldwell County’s unemployment rate in February dropped to 7.1 percent, it’s lowest level since April 2008, the N.C. Department of Commerce reported Wednesday. That’s down a half of a percentage point from January.

Apr. 10, 2014 @ 09:08 AM

County leaders refuel at alumni symposium

Since 1993, 285 people have gone through a 12-week course intended to help them become community leaders.

On Wednesday, about 40 of them gathered again for an update.

Apr. 06, 2014 @ 02:13 PM

Memories of the Southern Furniture Market

Furniture companies from near and far trooped off to High Point last week to get ready for this weekend’s opening of the International Home Furnishings Market, where manufacturers show their latest and greatest to potential buyers.

People with local companies used to be able to stay at home.

It’s been 30 years since the Southern Furniture Market filled the streets of Lenoir with people, flooding local restaurants and other businesses with furniture buyers and salesmen from across the country.

Apr. 04, 2014 @ 08:48 AM

New tourism effort targets traditional music

Places in Caldwell County that host performances of traditional music are being invited to add their events to a new website targeting tourists interested in the music.

The site,, which formally launches next week but already is online, is currently the most visible part of efforts begun last year to create the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, this state’s counterpart to Virginia’s Crooked Road, a 333-mile-long trail through southwestern Virginia.

Apr. 04, 2014 @ 08:50 AM

Caldwell is Hiring draws hundreds for most diverse job set yet

Hundreds of people made their way through the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center Thursday for the Caldwell is Hiring job fair, sifting through the hundreds of available jobs – the most diverse grouping for the event since it started in 2010.

Mar. 30, 2014 @ 07:39 AM

New business rising in downtown Lenoir

Dustin Hartley stood with his sleeves rolled up and hair falling in his face as he bent over a throttle body, working to take it apart. Even before the grand opening of his new auto garage in downtown Lenoir, Hartley was hard at work on one of his passions.

Hartley hopes soon to his new auto garage in a long-unused garage site. The building's address is 118 Lewis Price Blvd., but the entrances faces the back of the Lenoir Fire Department on the lot below the street. The place still needs a lot of work -- as Hartley worked, nearby picture frames at the edge of the dusty floor leaned against the battered brick walls, and two large toolboxes overflowed with tools, batteries, papers and cough drops -- but compared to what it was, Hartley has made significant improvements.

Mar. 29, 2014 @ 01:01 AM

Heritage Home closing another N.C. plant

The longtime Pearson Co. home furnishings plant in High Point will close later this year, the third plant in the area that will be closed by the company that took over the lines of bankrupt Furniture Brands International four months ago. This time, 86 employees will be affected.