State briefs: Concord home for new Eli Lilly manufacturing campus

Published 11:55 pm Saturday, January 29, 2022

CONCORD (AP) — Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. will build a new manufacturing operation in central North Carolina on the site of a former cigarette plant that’s already attracted other companies to the region.

Eli Lilly, which made the announcement on Friday with government officials, plans a five-building campus at The Grounds economic development site in Concord, news outlets reported. The nearly $1 billion investment will lead to nearly 600 jobs that will offer average salaries of nearly $70,000.

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly will manufacture parenteral — or injectable — products and devices at the plant, according to Gov. Roy Cooper’s office. Eli Lilly has played a role in developing insulin and COVID-19 treatments.

Lilly could receive $12.1 million in payments from the state if it meets investment and job-creation goals that served as the basis for an incentives award. Concord and Cabarrus County leaders will hold meetings next month to consider performance-based property tax grants.

The company also announced in 2020 that it would build a plant in Research Triangle Park.

The Grounds, where Philip Morris once operated a plant, also will be the home for a manufacturing, canning and distribution hub operated by Red Bull, Rauch and Ball Corp. That announcement came last summer.

Officials: 1 dead in Concord house fire

CONCORD (AP) — A person found inside a central North Carolina home that caught on fire early Saturday has died, authorities said.

The Concord Fire Department received a call about 2:30 a.m. and arrived at the home to find fire and smoke coming from the front and back doors, news outlets said.

A neighbor had tried unsuccessfully to rescue the home’s occupant, firefighters said. Crews who first arrived to the scene removed the victim, who later died. The victim’s name was not immediately released.

The fire department was investigating the cause of the blaze, which caused $20,000 in property damage.

Significant snowfall recorded in western NC mountains

ASHEVILLE (AP) — Several inches of snow fell in the North Carolina mountains before a fast-moving winter storm left the state Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Areas to the north and west of Asheville, particularly those in the highest elevations, saw the greatest accumulations, led by portions of Yancey County seeing up to 10 inches.

Madison County recorded up to 8 inches, weather service data said. Totals in Buncombe County ranged from 1 to 7 inches, depending on elevation.

Other sections of the state that received snowfall Friday night and Saturday that was more than a dusting included areas south of Greensboro.

The state Department of Transportation said over 1,800 crews and contractors worked overnight and into Saturday morning applying sand and salt onto roads.

DOT and the weather service warned of hazardous conditions on roads late Saturday and early Sunday, as temperatures in the teens and 20s combined with heavy winds could keep ice present.

Undercover operation in county yields 30-plus arrests

WHITEVILLE (AP) — More than 30 people were arrested on over cumulative 200 counts related to an investigation into illegal drug, alcohol and firearms sales in a southeastern North Carolina county, the state Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement announced Saturday.

The monthslong undercover operation in Columbus County reached a climax Friday when local, state and federal law enforcement officials attempted to serve arrest warrants and a residential search warrant, according to an ALE news release.

Agents seized drugs such as fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as guns and alcoholic beverages. Nearly a dozen of those who were the subject of arrest warrants are still at large, the release said.

The operation focused on businesses licensed through Alcoholic Beverage Control rules and on residences. Alleged illegal activity at businesses with ABC licenses could subject them to fines or the suspension or revocation of permits.

ALE agents have investigative and arrest powers through North Carolina, focusing primarily on the enforcement of alcohol, tobacco and gambling laws.