Yadkin Bank names Lippert director of IT

March 13, 2015

(The Elkin Tribune)

Raleigh-based Yadkin Bank named Robert Lippert director of information technology. Lippert was vice president of information technology for Winston-Salem-based Allegacy Federal Credit Union and previously served as director of retail systems for Mooresville-based Lowe's. He will be based in Elkin.

PEDS Legwear celebrates Hildebran plant opening

March 12, 2015

(The News Herald, Morganton)

Gov. Pat McCrory touted the state's "Carolina Comeback" in manufacturing at the ribbon cutting for PEDS Legwear's new $16 million sock-manufacturing plant in Hildebran. Formerly Richelieu Legwear, the Canada-based company last year invested $7 million in a failing sock company and plans to create more than 205 jobs by 2018. 

Sylva's Innovation Brewing involved in trademark dispute

March 11, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A small Sylva brewing company founded in 2013 is involved in a trademark dispute with Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Bell's Brewery. Bell's filed a federal action against Innovation Brewing, which only brews about 500 barrels a year, saying its name and slogan "bottling innovation since 1985" could be confused with Bell's "inspired brewing" slogan.

Western NC faces doctor shortage

March 10, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

All 16 counties in Western North Carolina have too few health care providers to meet the needs of the population, according to the Mountain Area Health Education Center. A 2015 survey revealed that only 3% of medical-school graduates said they planned to practice in rural areas.

Sierra Nevada opens restaurant, taproom

March 10, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Sierra Nevada will open its new restaurant and taproom Tuesday in Mills River. Adjacent to its Henderson County brewery, the restaurant will seat more than 400 people. Outdoor dining will be available later this year, along with a music hall and amphitheater.

Asheville could ban electronic cigarettes

March 10, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on banning the use of electronic cigarettes on buses, in parks and in other local government buildings. If the ban is approved, violators could be fined $50.

Mission Hospital asks patients to go elsewhere

March 9, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Mission Hospital said Friday it was at capacity and asked patients – other than the critically ill – to seek medical care at primary-care physicians' offices or urgent cares if possible. The Asheville-based health system extended office hours at several primary-care locations to handle the large number of patients.

Furniture supplier eyes Morganton for 70 jobs

March 4, 2015

(The News Herald, Morganton)

City council members approved incentives for American Hospitality Furniture to bring about 70 jobs to Morganton. The company, which supplies custom furniture for hotels, would renovate and occupy a former Drexel Heritage plant and eventually could employ up to 150 people. The city will apply for a $212,500 Building Reuse and Redevelopment Grant from the state Commerce department and agreed to a 5% local match if the grant is approved.

Sierra Nevada boosts beer tourism in Western NC

March 2, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The opening of Sierra Nevada's Mills River brewery has led to increased beer tourism in the Asheville area. A brewery spokesman said there's a two-day wait for weekday tours and a monthlong wait for weekends. Other breweries in the area have reported an uptick in visitors as well.

Tanks arriving in March at New Belgium's Asheville brewery

February 27, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

New Belgium expects to receive a large shipment that includes 24 fermentation vessels and 6 tanks at its West Asheville brewery site in March. The $140 million brewery, which will be large enough to brew 500,000 barrels of beer, is expected to open by year-end.

Asheville restaurant workers look to improve work environment

February 26, 2015

(Mountain Xpress, Asheville)

Restaurant workers in Asheville want to improve working conditions in the area's booming hospitality industry. A group of workers voiced concern about having no sick days, being expected to work off the clock and being required to share tips illegally.

German manufacturer bringing 138 jobs to Mills River

February 25, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

German manufacturer Raumedic will build its first U.S. plant in Henderson County, creating 138 jobs and investing $26.3 million over five years. The company makes polymer components such as tubing and catheters for the medical and pharmaceutical industries. The new jobs will pay an average annual salary of more than $55,000.

Appalachia report shows progress, deficiencies

February 24, 2015

(News & Record, Greensboro)

A new report shows poverty rates in the Appalachian region have fallen by about half since 1965, when the Appalachian Regional Commission was established to help the 420 counties in the 13-state region. The study says the region still lags behind the rest of the country in several important measures.


Brevard College sheds investments in fossil fuels

February 24, 2015

(The Transylvania Times)

The Board of Trustees of Brevard College voted Friday to divest all of the school's endowments in fossil fuels and will reinvest the money into more environmentally friendly funds. The move was mostly symbolic, as only about $600,000 of the school's $25 million endowment is tied up in fossil fuels.

Opinion: JDIG program 'make or break' for Asheville-Hendersonville area

February 23, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The state's Job Development Investment Grant program, recently criticized in a report issued by the NC Justice Center, is an essential tool for both urban and rural areas to be able to compete with other states for jobs, according to Ben Teague and Andrew Tate, economic-development leaders in Buncombe and Henderson counties.

ScaleUp WNC selects first 15 companies

February 23, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

An organic-food distributor, a brewery and electric-bike manufacturer are among the first class of companies chosen by ScaleUp WNC, an initiative of the AdvantageWest economic-development partnership that will provide education and support to high-growth small businesses in western North Carolina.

Henderson County must wait on road, utility work at Seven Falls

February 17, 2015

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Since Seven Falls developer Keith Vinson was convicted in 2013 on fraud and conspiracy charges, Henderson County is left responsible for completing road and infrastructure work at the failed 1,400-acre development. Federal officials refused to reactivate permits for the work to be completed, and it will take six months to a year to secure new ones.

Dillsboro considers cash incentives to attract businesses

February 13, 2015

(The Sylva Herald)

When visitors step off of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in Dillsboro, at least nine vacant storefronts are there to greet them. Town leaders are hoping to lure new businesses by offering them cash incentives.

Transylvania Regional moves birthing services to Mission Hospital

February 10, 2015

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Transylvania Regional Hospital will move its birth-center services to Mission Hospital in Asheville beginning March 5. Dr. Jamie Ramsey, one of two OB-GYNs at the Brevard hospital, said the decision was made to provide a safer birthing process, particularly for high-risk pregnancies and babies that need more specialized neonatology care.


'Downton' exhibit could be boon for Asheville tourism

February 5, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Biltmore House expects a 10% increase in visitors in February and March, thanks to a temporary exhibit featuring costumes from the PBS TV series "Downtown Abbey." Mark Hemphill, vice president of marketing for Biltmore, says the bump in attendance should translate into more tourism spending in Asheville. The exhibit will be open through May 25.