Western

Facebook helping Rutherford County students get free Wi-Fi

July 22, 2014

(WRAL TechWire)

Students in Rutherford County will receive free Wi-Fi access at their homes through a pilot program sponsored by Facebook, PANGAEA Internet and local governments. Menlo Park, Calif.-based Facebook opened a data center in Forest City in 2012.

Henderson County apple crops largely unaffected by spring storms

July 21, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Despite unseasonably cold temperatures and spring hailstorms, apple growers in Henderson County say crops suffered little damage. The annual North Carolina Apple Festival begins Aug. 29.

Fracking possible in Nantahala, Pisgah national forests

July 17, 2014

(Watauga Democrat)

The U.S. Forest Service acknowledged in a statement the potential for fracking for natural gas in the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests. North Carolina is studying potential shale-gas deposits in Western counties.

Brevard becoming hub for mountain biking

July 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The Brevard area, with access to trails in DuPont and Pisgah national forests, is becoming a mecca for mountain bikers. "It's a hobby that brings money to the area," says Brevard City Council member Wes Dickson.

Beer festival could be Western NC's largest ever

July 15, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp Across America could be the biggest beer festival ever held in Western N.C. Up to 5,000 tickets will be sold, and 120 breweries will be represented at the Aug. 3 event in Mills River.

Duke LifePoint to buy MedWest Haywood hospital

July 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Duke LifePoint Healthcare will purchase MedWest Haywood in Clyde for $26 million. The Brentwood, Tenn.-based company plans to invest $36 million in capital improvements at the 169-bed hospital over the next 10 years. If the county approves the deal, the sale could close on July 31.

Asheville soda-maker signs distribution agreement with RC Cola

July 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Soft drinks made by Asheville-based Blue Blaze Soda Co. will be available at Western N.C. restaurants through a distribution agreement with RC Cola. Blue Blaze sodas are all-natural and do not contain high-fructose corn syrup.

UNCA submits three candidates for chancellor

July 8, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

UNC Asheville's Board of Trustees approved three candidates for the school's chancellor position, which will be vacated at the end of the month when Anne Ponder retires. UNC System President Tom Ross is expected to make his recommendation to the UNC Board of Governors, which could approve the new chancellor when it meets Aug.1.

Cider production growing in Western NC

July 7, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Some Western N.C. apple farmers are benefiting from a boom in cider production, which has increased almost 1,000% in the past few years. Cider makers are looking to expand in North Carolina, which is the seventh-largest apple-producing state in the U.S. 

Panel rejects complaint against Moffitt

July 1, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A second regulatory panel has rejected a claim made by the Democratic opponent of N.C. Rep. Tim Moffitt of Buncombe County. Brian Turner says Moffitt offered him a state job to pull out of this fall's election. 

Firework sales pop — but not in North Carolina

June 30, 2014

(Citizen-Times, Asheville)

The migration of Tar Heels to surrounding states to secure fireworks around the Fourth of July holiday underscores the annual tax revenue lost by North Carolina, which has more restrictive laws.

$100M equestrian center to open in Polk County

June 26, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A $100 million equestrian center and resort will open in Polk County this summer. Tryon Resort includes five horse rings with 500 horse stables, and future plans include a 6,000-seat outdoor stadium and additional horse rings and stables. Lodging, including a 150-room hotel that will open in 2017, will be operated by Middleburg, Va.-based Salamander Hotels & Resorts.

Asheville airport building new runway

June 24, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville Regional Airport will begin the first phase of a four-year, $64 million project that includes the replacement of its 50-year-old runway. The Federal Aviation Administration will provide $6.5 million for construction of the new runway and a west-side taxiway. A groundbreaking will be held Aug. 8.

Brad Daugherty to open Asheville restaurant

June 20, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Black Mountain native Brad Daugherty will open Daugherty's American Kitchen and Drink, a seafood-heavy "casual-upscale" restaurant in south Asheville on July 16. It will be the first restaurant for the former NBA star and NASCAR analyst.

Asheville energy company building 38 megawatts of solar farms across NC

June 19, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

After receiving a multi-million-dollar investment earlier this year, FLS Energy will begin construction on eight solar farms in North Carolina that will produce 56 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Duke Energy will purchase electricity generated from the solar systems.

Oskar Blues to open ranch for mountain biking, events

June 18, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Oskar Blues Brewery will open a 145-acre farm with mountain-biking trails and music and event space about 8 miles from its Brevard brewery. The REEB Ranch also will have a bike-tour service, on-site lodging and tent camping.

DENR: Duke must fix leaky pipes at coal-ash ponds

June 18, 2014

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources has ordered Duke Energy to fix leaky pipes at coal-ash ponds at five power plants in Western N.C. The Charlotte utility has until July 17 to submit a schedule for the repairs.

Canadian sock manufacturer to create 205 jobs in Burke County

June 17, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Canada-based Richelieu Legwear will create 205 jobs and invest $16 million by the end of 2018 in a sock-manufacturing plant in Burke County. The company, which currently employs 60 at a plant in Hildebran, will receive up to $2.9 million in state incentives if it meets job-creation targets.

Asheville a Top 10 Foodie City

June 17, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Livability.com ranked Asheville No. 4 on its list of Top Ten Foodie Cities for 2014. The website cited restaurants' use of products from local farms, the area's 18 craft breweries and James Beard-nominated chefs.

2-megawatt solar farm nears completion in Henderson County

June 16, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

A 13-acre, $5 million solar farm in Henderson County will be generating renewable energy within about 60 days, according to the developer. Meanwhile, two other farms proposed for the county won't be built because of higher-than-expected expenses.