What a year it has been

Published 12:16 pm Saturday, December 29, 2012

Well, it’s been quite a year in Western Tidewater and we’d like to think The Tidewater News has been on top of the region’s daily happenings.

A rundown of headlines from 2012 in Friday’s issue filled nearly four pages. It’s amazing how much news our small community generates.

Among the more significant stories was the reopening of Franklin’s International Paper mill. Closed in June 2010, 1,100 jobs were eliminated, changing the way of life in Western Tidewater.

For the first time in company history, IP reopened a mill — here, in Franklin. More than $90 million was spent to repurpose the mill to produce fluff pulp; 200 jobs were created with hopes of more.

Also on the side of economic development, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is up and running. The Windsor facility is expected to create 800 jobs.

Enviva Southampton Pellets broke ground at Turner Tract industrial park in Southampton County. The wood pellet manufacturer is set to begin operating in late 2013 and will create 72 jobs.

Then there’s the construction of a new U.S. Route 460. This is project is a go.

Although it may not please folks who will have this new 55-mile toll road in their backyards, the proposed highway from Suffolk to Petersburg is said to be critical to economic development in this growing region of Virginia. This project is expected to create 4,000 thousand jobs during construction and more than 14,000 long-term jobs when the road opens in 2018.

With a new year two days away, our readers can expect to hear more on these stories and more in 2013. Thank you for reading The Tidewater News.