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Canton paper mill to close at end of June: After nearly 120 years of operation, consolidation move to result in 1,200 local jobs to be lost
Wednesday, 15 March 2023 21:12

From Staff Reports

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Lake Forest-based Pactiv Evergreen announced in a March 6 press release that it “plans to take significant restructuring actions related to its Beverage Merchandising operations.”

Specifically, the company stated that it “expects to close its Canton, North Carolina, mill and its converting facility in Olmsted Falls, Ohio, with operations at both facilities expected to end during the second quarter of 2023.”

The release added, “Approximately 1,300 positions will be eliminated as a a result of these actions. The company will provide outplacement assistance and severance to impacted employees, consistent with company policy and labor union agreements.”

In an explanation for the Canton and Olmsted Falls closures, Michael King, president and CEO of Pactive Evergreen, noted, “As we continue to confront a challenging market environment for our Beverage Merchandising business, we are faced with these difficult decisions that directly impact our employees. 

“We assess all changes to the business with considerable thought for our employees, customers, shareholders and communities, and we do not take these decisions lightly. We remain committed to doing what’s right, treating everyone with respect, and delivering on all of our commitments to our people, customers, shareholders and the communities where we operate,” King said.

Plant management sold stock just before announcement of mill closing, filings indicate
Wednesday, 15 March 2023 21:08

From Staff Reports

Filings on March 6 with the Securities and Exchange Commission “show several Pactiv Evergreen management team members sold off stock in advance of the closure announcement,” Asheville television station WLOS (News 13) reported on March 8.

“In total, it amounts to more than 58,000 shares,” News 13 noted. “ All executives received $11.30 per share. The sales were made Thursday, March 2, 2023, ahead of the announcement and reporting to the SEC on Monday, March 6, 2023.”

Firm releases a statement defending its stock selloffs
Wednesday, 15 March 2023 21:07

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Pactiv Evergreen, which recently announced the closing of its mill in Canton, N.C., sent out a statement late afternoon March 9 about the stock selloffs.

The statement reads:

“The sales that were reported in our SEC filings on Monday were sales automatically done/scheduled in advance by the company... to cover legally required tax withholding and were not discretionary sales made by the executives.”

Leaders respond to Canton mill closure
Wednesday, 15 March 2023 21:06
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following joint press release, titled “Response to Canton paper mill closure” and dated March 7, was emailed to the Daily Planet on behalf of Haywood Community College.
"As our hearts and minds reel with the news that Pactiv Evergreen intends to close the paper mill in Canton, we grieve together as a community. 

 “Haywood County has faced, and met with courage, more than its share of hardships, and this challenge will be no different. Haywood County’s tradition of grit and resilience will serve us well in the days and months ahead as we plan for a new future. 

 “‘We know this is a huge change, yet we are confident that our county can find solutions. Our county staff are working on ways to help the hard-working Evergreen employees find resources to help them make a smooth transition. This is not the first time we have lost an industry in Haywood County, and we will come out strong as before. We are praying for everyone involved,’ said Kevin Ensley, chairman, Haywood County Board of Commissioners. 

“‘Supporting every single worker and family affected by this economic crisis    is the most important thing that we are doing today. At the same time that we are securing the safety and stabilization of our economy, we will continue to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to find employment. My hope is that everyone who wishes to will be able to stay in Haywood County,’ said Zeb Smathers, mayor, Town of Canton. 

Asheville homelessness crisis termed ‘solveable’ during panel discussion : Concerns raised about impact on tourism, business
Wednesday, 15 March 2023 21:02
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The problem of increasing homelessness and crime in Asheville was tackled during a discussion by a panel at the  Council of Independent Business Owners’ meeting early March 3 in the Mountain View Room At UNC Asheville’s Sherrill.

The meeting, which drew more than 80 people, was billed by CIBO as covering a recently released report on homelessness, as well as rising crime and “how your business, your property, and your home could be affected. When it affects you…here’s what you need to know....”

The panelists were:

• Asheville Police Captain Mike Lamb, who was asked by CIBO to address: “What can/should you do when a crime or vagrancy occurs on your property? What rights do you have to protect yourself and/or property? Why is crime increasing? What are the solutions?”

• Ben Woody, Asheville assistant city manager and (interim) Planning & Urban Design director (former Development Services manager), who was asked by CIBO to address: “If you have an encampment/camping/vagrancy on or near your property what will the city require of you? What responsibilities does the city have to help?”

• Michael Woods, executive director of the Western Carolina Rescue Ministries, who was asked by CIBO to address: “Will give an overview of the homelessness issue…What works and what doesn’t. Is it true that homeless individuals are being ‘bused’ into Asheville? How are illegal drugs contributing to the problem?”

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