Archive for January, 2018


Legislators Wednesday were poised to pass a bill approving some $1.5 billion in incentives to land an automobile manufacturing plant on a 1,800 acre site in Randolph County at the Guilford County line. But Tuesday night Toyota and Mazda announced the plant and 4,000 jobs will go to Huntsville, Alabama which offered less in incentives but which already has a supply chain for production of cars. The average salary of jobs will be $50,000, Toyota Mazda announced.

An executive with the site-selection team observed that Alabama now has 57,000 people employed in the automotive industries. “They did not want to be a pioneer in North Carolina,” he surmised.

The North Carolina effort was bipartisan with legislators and the office of Gov. Roy Cooper working hard to land the plant. The learning process will eventually lead to an automobile manufacturer on the site, the governor’s office insisted. Legislators reiterated support for manufacturing clusters in North Carolina.


The North Carolina General Assembly convened in Raleigh this week for a series of in-and-out sessions and committee meetings. Dominating the agenda is the realignment of 13 Congressional Districts, the redistricting of Judicial centers, and perhaps crafting an another amendment to the state constitution to make judges appointed and subject to approval of state lawmakers. As expected, vocal opposition has been part of the process.

Observers in Raleigh predict more quick sessions over the next few months before the normal short session of the Legislature begins in mid-May. Republicans dominate the Senate and House with veto-proof majorities. Recent polls indicate a possibility Democrats will gain enough seats in November to block veto overrides. The GOP will push major priorities into law before November, the reasoning goes.


Ed Gavin

Ed Gavin

Memorial services for Cecil Edward Gavin will be held Saturday, January 13, at 10:30 a.m. At First Presbyterian Church in Hickory. Mr. Gavin died January 2 in Frye Regional Center in Hickory. He was 79.

Gavin was well-known in the Southeast textiles industries. After graduating from Auburn University in his native Alabama, he started in the offices of Bibb Mills in Macon GA. He later was employed in internal auditing and purchasing at Burlington Industries in Greensboro. He was widely known as an acrylic yarn salesman for National Spinning Co. with customers throughout the Southeastern United States. He retired in 2003. He was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Jane Blanton Gavin, two sons, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Gavin was active in The Carolina Hosiery Association and The Hosiery Association. He and his wife were participants in Hickory Community organizations.