Western

Asheville's HomeTrust Bancshares to repurchase stock

August 29, 2013

(The Citizen-Times, Asheville)

The board of directors of the holding company for HomeTrust Bank authorized the repurchase of 5 percent of its outstanding shares, either in the open market or in private transactions.  

Asheville's Mission Health plans layoffs, other cost-cutting initiatives

August 27, 2013

(The Citizen-Times, Asheville)

Ron Paulus, the president and CEO of Mission Health announced in a letter to employees that the health care provider will lay off fewer than 70 caregivers in an effort to cut costs. Hospital administrators will also be impacted, as pay for Paulus and other high-level executives will be reduced in 2014. 

Craft brew industry booms in NC

August 26, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina ranked No. 10 in the country in 2012 with 70 independent local breweries; the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission has approved 26 more so far in 2013. Asheville is at the forefront of the industry, with two dozen craft breweries located there or in surrounding areas.

Blowing Rock waterpark plans advancing

August 26, 2013

(The Watauga Democrat)

A developer is moving forward with plans to build an indoor waterpark, as well as a hotel and conference center, rental cabins and restaurant on 42 acres along U.S. Highway 321 adjacent to Tweetsie Railroad. Steve Moberg hopes to secure financing for the project in the next month or two, with an anticipated opening of fall 2014.

Henderson County tent manufacturer adds jobs

August 26, 2013

(Citizen-Times, Asheville)

Diamond Brand, the 130-year-old manufacturer of wall tents for the Boy Scouts of America, will add 20 jobs at its Fletcher plant under a $2.7 million government contract to make tents for the military.

Watauga BOE erases parts of meeting minutes

August 23, 2013

(The Citizen-Times, Asheville)

 A Watauga County Elections Board member said parts of its Aug. 12 meeting minutes were omitted from the final approved version, including discussion points about consolidating precincts in Boone. The board voted at the meeting to eliminate a polling location at Appalachian State University, a decision that has attracted national attention.

Watauga commissioners reject business park proposal

August 22, 2013

(The Watauga Democrat)

Watauga County commissioners voted against purchasing 212 acres off N.C. Highway 194 after a public hearing on the issue. Most speakers opposed the project, citing transportation concerns, infrastructure costs and compromising the scenic beauty of the area.

Bryson City brewery will double production

August 22, 2013

(The Smoky Mountain Times, Bryson City)

Nantahala Brewing Co. in downtown Bryson City has a new 100-barrel tank that will allow it to keep up with increasing demand. The microbrewery, which opened in 2010, will now be able to brew 200 more barrels of beer each month, double its current volume.

Continental to add jobs in Henderson County

August 20, 2013

(The Citizen-Times, Asheville)

The auto parts maker will invest $35 million in its Fletcher plant and hire 40 additional workers over the next five years, adding to the 600 it currently employs there.

Boom in hotel projects for downtown Asheville

August 19, 2013

(The Citizen-Times, Asheville)

Downtown Asheville's popularity as  a tourist destination has led to the announcement of four new hotel projects within the past four months. Area real estate developer John Spake says the demand has been growing over the past several years, but now the lending environment is favorable for developers to pursue hotel construction.

Watauga commission seeks public input on business park deal

August 19, 2013

(The Watauga Democrat)

The Watauga County commission will hold a hearing on Tuesday to seek public input on plans to purchase 212 acres for a business park. The commission announced its intent to buy the land for $1.7 million in April and was granted a five-month due diligence period to examine the property.

Outdoor industry struggling after rainy season

August 15, 2013

(The Smoky Mountain Times, Bryson City)

The kayaking and rafting business is down in Western N.C., with one Nantahala Gorge business reporting 40 percent fewer customers this season. Above-average rainfall and an improved economy leading people to choose more expensive vacations are contributing factors.

McHenry's constituents call for more opposition to Obama

August 14, 2013

(The Citizen-Times, Asheville)

Republican congressman Patrick McHenry has been holding public forums in his western N.C. district during the legislature's summer break. HIs conservative counterparts want House Republicans to defund Obamacare and take action against raising the nation's debt limit.

Neill named publisher of Asheville paper

August 14, 2013

(The Citizen-Times, Asheville)

Dave Neill was named publisher and president of the Asheville Citizen-Times. Neill, a veteran in the newspaper industry, is currently publisher of the Naples Daily News. He will replace Randy Hammer, who announced his retirement last week, and will begin Sept. 9.

Blowing Rock highway, health care projects delayed due to funding freeze

August 13, 2013

(The Watauga Democrat)

Completion of the widening of U.S. Highway 321 and the construction of a new health care facility in Blowing Rock are taking longer than expected because a Rural Center grant for the project has been frozen. The grant money was to cover about one-third of the $1.5 million total cost of water and sewer infrastructure, the initial phase of the health care center project.

Carolina Alliance Bank, Forest Commercial Bank to merge

August 9, 2013

(Times-News, Hendersonville)

The merger, pending regulatory and shareholder approval, will create a community bank that would primarily serve upstate South Carolina and western N.C. The offices will operate as Carolina Alliance Bank and will be headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C.

Asheville-area brewery teams with NC DOT

August 8, 2013

(Citizen-Times, Asheville)

Chico, Calif.-based Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., which is opening a brewery in Mills River, partnered with the NC DOT to help tailor infrastructure needs to the development of its new site. The Department of Transportation has helped create roads to ease traffic flow around the brewery, and assisted with transporting the company's large beer tanks through the port of Wilmington.

Internet provider requests $1 million loan from Jackson County

August 8, 2013

(The Sylva Herald)

Asheville-based VistaNet has asked for the loan to provide high speed Internet to unserved and underserved parts of the county. It is the largest loan amount that anyone has requested from Jackson County in years.

Hickory diversified manufacturer to expand, add 162 jobs

August 7, 2013

(Hickory Daily Record)

HSM Solutions, already one of the largest employers in Catawba County, will invest $3.3 million over 3 years in the expansion. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker made the announcement Tuesday at HSM headquarters in Hickory. The manufacturer changed its name from Hickory Springs in May 2013.

Hammer retires as Citizen-Times president and publisher

August 7, 2013

(Citizen-Times, Asheville)

Randy Hammer, a 43-year veteran of the journalism industry, announced his retirement to staff members on Tuesday. He joined the Gannett-owned newspaper in 2007 after working as a top editor for several other Gannett publications.