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.

Jul. 09, 2014 @ 09:33 AM

Business brief for July 8, 2014

Jul. 02, 2014 @ 08:51 AM

More Caldwell County residents rejoin workforce

The number of Caldwell County residents looking for work surged in May by about 300, so the local unemployment rate rose even though the number of people with jobs went up by more than 100, according to figures released Tuesday by the N.C. Department of Commerce.

Jun. 30, 2014 @ 05:20 PM

Exela purchases land on Morganton Boulevard

Lenoir-based pharmaceutical company Exela Pharma Sciences recently bought two adjoining properties on Morganton Boulevard, a total of 9.48 acres, for just over $1 million.

Jun. 24, 2014 @ 04:39 PM

City Council not on board with plan for crossroads

City leaders made their opinion on the state's proposed Smith's Crossroads replacement clear Tuesday: They don’t want it.

The proposal, called a “diverging diamond” interchange, would ease traffic congestion on U.S. 321 but would displace more than 20 businesses along the U.S. 321 corridor, from Rite Aid and Burger King to Mayflower Seafood and Bojangle’s, and on the north side of Wilkesboro Boulevard almost to ALDI.

Jun. 22, 2014 @ 01:01 AM

Public records for June 22, 2014

Jun. 21, 2014 @ 09:09 PM

Signs of rebounding economy found in Caldwell County permits

Through May 31, 764 building permits had been issued for new construction valued at more than $40 million, and the number of permits issued so far in June is up compared to last year, said Sherri Marshall of the county permitting office.

In all of 2013, 1,993 building permits were issued for new construction valued at just under $60.2 million, and in 2012 there were 2,084 permits for construction worth a little more than $48.5 million.

Jun. 18, 2014 @ 10:01 AM

City to borrow more for sewage plant repairs

Repairs at Lenoir’s Gunpowder Wastewater Treatment Plant will cost more than expected, so the Lenoir City Council voted 5-1 Tuesday to borrow an extra $320,000 for the project, bringing the total to $4.17 million.

Jun. 13, 2014 @ 04:20 PM

Blue Ridge Electric plans no rate increase

Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp. will not raise its rates for 2015, Chief Executive Officer Doug Johnson announced at the cooperative’s annual meeting Thursday.

Jun. 13, 2014 @ 08:28 AM

MDI starts $20 million expansion

Merchants Distributers Inc., Caldwell County’s largest private employer, recently began a $20 million phase of expansion at its distribution center in southern Caldwell County.

Jun. 11, 2014 @ 08:08 PM

Public Records roundup

Property transfers, marriages, divorces and incorporations that were filed in the first week of June.