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 In the News, October 30, 2017 

Baseball played downtown by 2020?

Baseball could be played downtown in the summer of 2020 if the city of Gastonia’s plans for the Franklin Urban Sports and Entertainment District move forward as planned. City leaders held their third and final meeting Monday at the conference center to give an overview of the project and offer a timeline of what will be taking place if, or when, a downtown stadium project moves forward. While an estimated $13.5 million stadium may be the centerpiece of the FUSE District, city leaders insist the project has more to do with economic development and recruiting retail and restaurants, breweries and hotels, to an area that has lagged behind for decades. “This is a project to bring new investment into an area that has seen a lot of dis-investment over the years,” said Kristy Crisp, the city of Gastonia’s director of economic development and someone who has helped oversee the project.

Stanfield eyes projects

The town of Stanfield is finding new ways to pump money into public places. Most recently, staff resubmitted an application to the N.C. Department of Transportation for funding on a sidewalk project. The project — which will extend pedestrian walkways along N.C. Highway 200 from Stanfield to Locust — is the first of its kind to receive state funding in Stanfield since the state’s Strategic Transportation Improvement Plan was implemented four years ago.

Town council approves new IKEA location in Cary

The Triangle is one step closer to getting an IKEA. On Thursday night, town leaders approved the request to add the store to the Cary Towne Center. Town leaders voted unanimously on rezoning 20-acres of the Cary Towne Center, which will now include up to a 380,000-square-foot IKEA. The rezoning request will turn the area from general commercial conditional use to a mixed-use district.

Mayors of Valladolid, Yuc. and Asheville, N.C. meet

The Asheville Sister Cities program received the visit of the Valladolid Mayor Alpha Alejandra Tavera Escalante, with members of her staff, and committee delegates. The group engaged in community meetings, educational visits, health and human services roundtable discussions, tourism, and economic development programs. The two cities will work collaboratively to create more opportunities for the exchange of ideas and opportunities between Asheville and Valladolid. Asheville now has seven sister cities around the world: Saumur, France; Vladikavkaz, Russia; Karpenisi, Greece; Osogbo, Nigeria; Valladolid, and San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico; and Dunkeld and Birnam, Scotland. Mayor Esther E. Manheimer officially welcomed the Mayoral Delegation at a Reaffirmation Signing Event for the sister city relationship on Friday October 13.