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 In the News, August 22, 2016 

Revitalizing WNC downtowns. Mountain towns across Western North Carolina — including Brevard, Dillsboro, Hendersonville, Highlands, Tryon and others — are in the process or have made efforts to revitalize and keep their Main Streets vibrant. This work pays off economically and creates community spirit, according to area groups.

Town has right to improve look. There may be differences of opinion among Swansboro residents – there are clearly differences of opinion among the town’s board of commissioners and planning board – about the precise steps that need to be taken to improve the town’s planning and development along N.C. 24, the town’s “gateway.” However, there is consensus among town leaders and the public that the effort should continue.

East Spencer hosts NC Manufacturing Institute classes. The idea for the NC Manufacturing Institute began in 2014 as a response to employers’ need for solving talent recruitment issues. The initiative creates an opportunity for people to learn about manufacturing job opportunities and training and acquire skills in order to access jobs in their local community.

Wrightsville Beach requests big study for 'lifeline' bridge. The Heidi Trask drawbridge to Wrightsville Beach will be safe to drive on for decades to come, but town leaders say it’s never too early to begin planning for the future. Town Manager Tim Owens requested the North Carolina Department of Transportation and Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization begin a feasibility study to determine whether to repair or replace the bridge altogether when it’s lifespan ends in about 30 years.

Town gets state OK for changes to Knightdale Station Park plans. The town has received unofficial word from the state that the town will be able to use grant funds to change the scope and location of a water feature planned for Knightdale Station Park. Originally, the misting feature was to have been incorporated into an ornamental water tower between the two shelters at the corner of First Avenue and Knightdale Station Run, but town leaders have since moved away from the water tower idea, but funds from a $400,000 state Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, or PARTF, grant were tied to adding a water feature at the park.