Garner

Slim Jim
Wikimedia Commons

The town of Garner in Wake County is preparing to lose its largest employer, ConAgra Foods.  The company employed about 600 people in its Slim Jim plant there until the summer of 2009 when a fatal natural gas explosion killed four works and injured 67. But instead of rebuilding the plant where the explosion took place, ConAgra announced last year that it would be cheaper to close its Garner plant and move its operation to Ohio.

Legislators have passed a bill that would block transportation officials from considering a proposed route for a toll road through Garner. The so-called red route would essentially cut the town of Garner in half. State officials say they don't want to build the road on that route.

A local newspaper called The Garner Citizen is no longer circulating. Owners say their revenue wasn't keeping up with production costs. Officials with the Audit Bureau of Circulations say newspaper circulation nationwide dropped nearly 9 percent last year. The last print edition of the Garner Citizen was delivered yesterday morning. Founder and executive editor Barry Moore says the paper was losing subscribers as fast as it gained them: