Carolinas Roundup |

Financial crisis tied to 2 textile plant closings, loss of 200 jobs

Spectrum Yarns Inc. has announced the permanent closing of plants in Kings Mountain and Marion, eliminating about 200 jobs.

According to a letter from company president C. Douglas Blanchard to the N.C. Department of Commerce, the closings were related “in part to the recent problems in the nation's financial markets. In the midst of this national financial crisis, Spectrum has been unable to obtain sufficient financing to keep operations going.”

“It's sad,” said Kings Mountain Mayor Rick Murphrey, retired vice president of sales at Spectrum. “I worked there about 36 years and it was like I was part of a family. I wish all those people the best.”

The plant closings were effective Tuesday.

He said Spectrum's dyed yarn plant in Kings Mountain was one of the city's largest water customers.

“We'll be able to adjust,” Murphrey said. “But we'll miss them.”

Like many other communities across the Carolinas, Kings Mountain's textile industry had declined in recent years.

“It's been a very difficult time,” Murphrey said. “A great way of life has been destroyed.”

Joe DePriest

Lipitor scientist to speak at UNCC conference

The scientist who co-developed Lipitor, billed as the most prescribed cholesterol-reducing drug, will be the featured speaker at the seventh annual Charlotte Biotechnology Conference at UNC Charlotte on Oct. 28.

Dr. Roger Newton will join more than 25 other speakers at the event, including some researchers who will be working at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. Newton will discuss creating, selling, then relaunching Esperion Therapeutics Inc.

UNCC expects about 300 people to attend. For more details or to register, go to Adam Bell

Trade and job expo today in Lumberton

Piedmont Natural Gas, in collaboration with Robeson Community College and Chicago Bridge and Iron, is hosting a trade and job expo at Southeastern North Carolina Agricultural Center in Lumberton today. The expo will give businesses the opportunity to learn more about the contracting and employment opportunities available during construction of the Robeson County liquefied natural gas plant.

There is no registration fee and no appointment is needed to attend. For more information, visit, or Staff reports