Around the Region: Henderson no longer dry county

Published 6:19 pm Thursday, May 10, 2012

Henderson County is no longer dry after residents approved referenda on Tuesday, May 8 to allow alcohol sales in unincorporated areas of the county.
It was the first time since 1955 that Henderson County residents have had a chance to vote on the issue and all four measures on the ballot passed by a wide margin. Residents supported sales of beer and wine in restaurants, convenience and grocery stores, with 59 percent in favor of beer sales and 61 percent in favor of wine sales. Residents also voted to allow ABC stores (67 percent) and sales of mixed beverages in hotels, restaurants, private clubs, community theaters and convention centers (68 percent).
May 8’s vote marks a significant change since the last time a vote was held on alcohol sales 57 years ago. The county at that time had a population of just 35,000, while today it has 107,000 residents, including many who came from other areas where alcohol sales are permitted.
– source: Hendersonville Times News, 5/9/12
After years of plant closings and layoffs, manufacturing jobs are coming back to the Asheville area, according to the N.C. Division of Employment Security.
The Asheville metro area, which includes Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood and Madison counties, gained 600 manufacturing jobs since May of last year. The 4-percent increase comes after the metro area lost approximately 12,000 manufacturing jobs in the past two decades.
As of March of this year, the Asheville metro area had 118,400 workers in manufacturing positions.
– source: Asheville Citizen Times, 5-5-12
TD Bank plans to begin hiring soon for 200 positions at its new call center in Greenville, S.C. The bank plans to open the call center in August as part of its new regional headquarters on a new campus on I-85.
TD Bank, which announced last year it plans to bring a total of 1,400 jobs to its Upstate campus, is consolidating call center operations across the country. At the same time it announced the openings in Greenville, the bank announced it will eliminate about 200 jobs at its call center in Springfield, Mass.
After taking over Carolina First and South Financial Group, TD Bank says it is consolidating call center operations in Maine, New Jersey and South Carolina. – source:, 5-9-12
JTEKT Automotive South Carolina Inc., a manufacturer of automotive components, says it will expand its operations in Greenville, S.C., adding at least 80 jobs over the next two years.
The company plans to invest $102 million in expansion of its Greenville County manufacturing facility in Piedmont. A new building next to the existing plant will increase the company’s driveline component capacity. JTEKT plans to begin hiring for the new positions in October.
– source: S.C. Department of Commerce, 4-24-12
Duke Energy and Progress Energy have reached a new merger agreement that they believe will gain federal approval.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) raised concerns about how the utility companies’ original merger proposal would affect competition in the Carolinas utility market.
Duke and Progress worked with utility customer advocates to form a new proposal, which includes the sale of some power plant capacity to wholesale customers to address those concerns about insufficient competition. The utilities also agree in the new proposal to cut retail customer rates by $70 million over the next few years and they will not ask retail customers to pay any part of the $230 million in employee severance costs expected as part of the merger.
The companies plan to pay for most of the $110 million in new transmission construction, and they will return N.C. customers their share of $650 million in savings expected from combining their power plant fleets.
– source: Charlotte Business Journal, 5-8-12
N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue has included $10.3 million in her new proposed budget to compensate eugenics victims.
The money would also be used to support a foundation focused on assisting victims of the state’s eugenics program, which sterilized approximately 7,600 North Carolina residents between 1929 and 1974. The residents were sterilized because they were deemed unfit to have children.
Last year the state set up a Eugenics Compensation Task Force to consider compensation for the victims. The task force recommended a lump-sum payment of $50,000 and mental health services for the victims.
State officials have said they believe there may be as many as 2,000 people still alive who were sterilized under the program. So far, the state says it has identified more than 100 victims across the state.
– source: Winston-Salem Journal, 4-25-12
U.S. Airways says it will add more flights from Charlotte to Europe this summer. The airline says it plans to add daily, seasonal flights to Madrid, Rome and Dublin, and increase the number of daily flights to Frankfurt. U.S. Airways maintains its largest hub at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
– source: Charlotte
Business Journal, 5-9-12

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