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News State / Region

Merger would create the largest utility in the country.

The proposed merger of utility giants Duke Energy and Progress Energy is steadily advancing, after the two corporations reached a settlement with the Public Staff of the North Carolina Utilities Commission on Sept. 2.

The deal requires both power companies to share approximately $650 million in fuel savings with their customers— a deal that Public Staff officials say will benefit power consumers over the next five years should the merger be approved.

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We have either lived through the trauma or seen the photos and video of the devastating one-two punch that water and high winds delivered in the name of Irene.

The storm that seemed to park over North Carolina for more than 24-hours has left untold damage throughout our coastal areas and eastern region. Many of these counties have not yet recovered from the April tornados.

Homes and businesses were destroyed and crops have been ruined. Schools, colleges and universities have been forced to temporarily close. And parts of the Outer Banks are completely cut off.

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Sylva's Town Manager, Adrienne Isenhower, announced that Sylva native Paige Roberson, 24, will serve as the Town's new Main Street Economic Development Director for the Town of Sylva and Director for the Downtown Sylva Association (DSA).

“I am excited about getting to work. Last week I went to a main-street managers meeting in Concord and got some really great ideas that I am excited to begin working on,” Roberson said. “I am most excited about the Mill Street [also known as back street] renovations and encouraging small business development and retention in the downtown area.”

Roberson, a third-generation Sylva native, whose family owned and operated Sylva’s former Roberson Supply is personally invested in the economic development of the town and values the importance of continuing the tradition of engaging community activities, historic preservation, and downtown revitalization.

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Western North Carolina residents can anticipate heavy rain and gusty winds starting later today and lasting through Tuesday. There are flood watches for Cherokee, Graham, Clay, Macon and Jackson counties and flood warnings for Swain, Haywood, Buncombe, Madison, Henderson and Transylvania counties.

Fred Alexander, the district Duke Power representative, said that widespread power outages are expected from such high winds. Alexander also said that even after the storm is over with, trees can still fall on power lines.

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