Jan. 29, 2014 @ 08:57 AM

City council sets new long-term priorities

The construction of a medeival cathedral makes a great analogy for public projects, as the individuals who start the project know that they will never see the finished product.

This idea permeated Lenoir's biannual city retreat, where the city council and staff set their priorities for the next two years.

Jan. 26, 2014 @ 09:06 AM

Innovation, dedication lead Bakers Waste Equipment to success

Most people pay little attention to the fabricated metal bins they throw their garbage and recycling into, but at Bakers Waste Equipment, those bins and containers are constantly being re-imagined and improved.

Jan. 24, 2014 @ 08:12 AM

94th chamber dinner celebrates champions

A champion is a person who takes on a cause with passion, and fights for that cause.

Thursday night, at the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce’s 94th Annual Dinner, “A Celebration of Champions,” members of the Caldwell County community who have done that were honored. Members of Caldwell County governments, businesses, schools, hospitals and more gathered for the dinner and to hear the legacies of three individuals who have given themselves and their works to Caldwell.

Jan. 23, 2014 @ 02:32 PM

Deadline for Google grants approaches

Applications for Google’s community grants are accepted year-round, with submissions due before midnight Pacific time on Jan. 31 and June 30.

The community grants program supports organizations and initiatives that focus on specific areas that match Google’s passions.

Jan. 12, 2014 @ 08:43 AM

Bernhardt Furniture announces expansion

Bernhardt Furniture Co.'s 250,000-square-foot Plant 4 building, on Connelly Springs Road north of Cajah’s Mountain Town Hall, will become the new home of the table product lines now made at Plant 3 in Lenoir and Swivel Task and multi-purpose seating products now made at Plant 7 in Lenoir. The move will allow for expansion of operations in all three buildings.

Jan. 12, 2014 @ 08:15 AM

Ingenuity, quality the foundations of Construction Attachments

Charles Corriher was on a business trip to England in the early 1980s for a tractor dealership when he noticed a product that he thought would sell well in the U.S.

He went to visit the owner and became a partner in the company, bringing the manufacture of swing-over forks, or forklift arms that fit onto a bulldozer bucket, to Lenoir in 1983

Jan. 08, 2014 @ 08:43 AM

Slide in local unemployment continues

The unemployment rate for Caldwell County fell to 7.5 percent in November, the N.C. Department of Commerce reported Tuesday. The last time the rate was that low was June 2008.

Dec. 26, 2013 @ 08:29 AM

2013 was the year of biotech in Caldwell County

Caldwell County's economy remains dominated by manufacturing, especially furniture making.

But 2013 was the year that biotechnology made a splash as a rapidly growing segment of the county's economy.

Dec. 24, 2013 @ 08:24 AM

2013 verdict for Caldwell County farmers: 'drowned out'

Looking back on the growing season for farmers in Caldwell County, one thing sticks out: rain.

“Rain is definitely the big thing. It basically made planting on time a challenge, and some crops were drowned out,” said Seth Nagy, director of the Caldwell County Cooperative Extension Service.

Dec. 22, 2013 @ 08:20 AM

Quality, expertise live at Autumn House

Autumn House opened for business in 1978 on a small exit off Interstate 40 in Icard, making mostly skateboards.

Founders Howard Pruitt and Ernie Rosenquist established the company to fill a need they saw in the market for curved plywood, especially among the well-established nearby residential furniture companies.

Dec. 17, 2013 @ 11:41 AM

Caldwell approves financing, land for new school

The new middle school planned for Lenoir is all but ready to break ground after the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners approved loan financing and a land acquisition for the Caldwell County Schools project Monday night.

Dec. 13, 2013 @ 08:38 AM

Lenoir business earns $25,000 grant for innovation

Pete Lohr started Advanced Hydrogen Power Technologies in Lenoir earlier this year, founded on a technology that Lohr developed himself.

Lohr used his background in mechanical engineering to develop his hydrogen-generating cartridge, the “baseline technology” that the rest of his work uses, accumulating four patents since 2009. An application that he hopes will take off soon he calls “non-explosive welding” or impact bonding, an alternative to traditional welding, formerly the only method of bonding dissimilar metals.


Dec. 11, 2013 @ 07:34 AM

Caldwell applies to join foreign-trade zone

Caldwell County is applying to join Charlotte's foreign trade zone, economic development officials announced Tuesday.

If the application is accepted, it would provide some export advantages to companies here, Deborah Murray, the executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, said at an EDC board meeting Tuesday. And that in turn would become a recruiting tool as the county tries to lure new businesses.

Dec. 10, 2013 @ 04:55 PM

Falling tree sends hundreds scrambling

A single falling tree caused quite a bit of trouble Tuesday morning, snapping a power pole in two about 7:40 a.m. and leaving about 1,800 customers in the Lenoir area without power for about five hours.

Dec. 09, 2013 @ 06:41 PM

Ousted Furniture Brands executives seek help with legal costs

Two of the top former executives of Furniture Brands International want a bankruptcy court’s permission for an insurance policy to pay their legal costs in lawsuits filed by shareholders.

The insurance policy provides up to $15 million of coverage, including for legal fees and other expenses, in case of securities claims against Furniture Brands, according to a document filed Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware by lawyers for former chief executive officer Ralph Scozzafava and former chief financial officer Vance Johnston.

Dec. 06, 2013 @ 08:33 AM

Caldwell County's unemployment rate hits 5-year low

The unemployment rate in Caldwell County dropped in October was 8.3 percent, down from 8.9 percent in August.

The last time Caldwell's unemployment rate was lower was September 2008, when it was 7.9 percent

Dec. 05, 2013 @ 05:30 PM

Brandon Kirby promoted to News-Topic production director

Brandon Kirby, 27, was named the News-Topic's production director Nov. 25, giving him responsibility over the pressroom, mailroom and warehouse. He previously had been the paper's assistant pressroom supervisor.

Dec. 04, 2013 @ 09:04 AM

City approves drive-thru, changes to parking tickets

A new restaurant with a drive-thru lane may be coming to U.S. 321 north of Ruby Tuesday, despite opposition by people who live nearby.

A company called MGM of Lenoir requested a special use district and permit to allow a drive-thru on a property north of Hospital Avenue on the west side of U.S. 321, with a secondary exit onto Woodland Place, a dead-end street with some residential properties.

Dec. 01, 2013 @ 09:37 AM

Creativity, craftsmanship on tap at Howard Brewing

Jason Howard is a brewer. He handcrafted his own recipes, continuously honing them in his home for more than a decade before making it a career – and making those beers the backbone of a thriving Lenoir brewery.

Dec. 01, 2013 @ 09:01 AM

Area shoppers hit stores in full force for Black Friday

As they do every year, deal-crazy shoppers lined up early, and this year the first lines formed while some people were still eating their Thanksgiving dinner.

But even as shoppers flooded stores, in interviews the feelings most expressed about the economy weren’t optimistic.

Dec. 02, 2013 @ 10:50 AM

Column: A name is just the beginning

What’s in a name?

It might be true that, as Shakespeare wrote, that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

But we probably wouldn’t smell it much if it were called a horsebutt, or a vomit.

Which is why you can bet the name Heritage Home Group did not just get picked out of a hat or at the last minute, out of nowhere, when KPS Capital Partners chose it for the new name of what until last Monday was known as Furniture Brands International.

Nov. 28, 2013 @ 09:06 AM

Departures from Heritage Home continue

Dan Bradley, the president of Designer Brands Group since 2008, has resigned effective Dec. 6, Bradley confirmed Wednesday to Furniture Today, an industry trade publication.

Nov. 27, 2013 @ 04:00 PM

More Furniture Brands executives let go

More executives have gotten the boot since KPS Capital Partners formed Heritage Home Group from the former parts of Furniture Brands International.

Nov. 26, 2013 @ 08:47 AM

Furniture company gets new name, leadership

The new owner of Furniture Brands Inc. wasted no time getting started on giving the company a fresh start.

On Monday KPS Capital Partners announced the formation of a new company, Heritage Home Group, to take the place of the Furniture Brands name; the resignation of CEO Ralph Scozzafava; and the appointment of a new CEO and board of directors.

Nov. 24, 2013 @ 09:15 AM

Lubrimetal brings global success to Caldwell

Giorgio Corso’s grandfather founded a small, metal-drawing lubricants company called Lubrimetal in Italy in 1959. Today, the company is truly global, with locations in Brazil, India and Caldwell County.

As executive vice president, Corso flies back and forth every few weeks to Italy and Granite Falls, where Lubrimetal’s American manufacturing facility is located.