Western

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.

Pisgah Inn operator will fight for contract renewal

June 12, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The park-concession contract to run the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway is open for bid. Bruce O'Connell, who gained national attention last year when he defiantly kept the inn open during the federal government shutdown, has operated it for 40 years but now will face competition from larger companies with deep capital.

HomeTrust Bank to acquire 10 BofA branches

June 11, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Asheville-based HomeTrust Bank will buy 10 Bank of America branches including one in Eden. The other nine are in southwestern Virginia. Charlotte-based Bank of America also will sell six branches, including one in Mount Airy, to Bluefield, Va.-based First Community Bancshares.

Asheville's HomeTrust Bank expands into Virginia

June 10, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville-based HomeTrust Bank will open a commercial loan office in Roanoke, Va. The community bank, which now has assets of $2.1 billion, recently completed an acquisition of Jefferson Bancshares in Tennessee and plans to acquire Charlotte-based Bank of Commerce. 

Biltmore considers new hotel on estate property

June 10, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The Biltmore Company has requested a permit to build a 190-room hotel adjacent to its winery at Antler Village. The Asheville estate is on track to report a record 1.2 million guests at the end of its fiscal year at the end of the month.

Heritage Home to close Morganton plant, cut 87 jobs

June 3, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Heritage Home Group will close its Drexel Heritage plant in Morganton and will eliminate 87 jobs by July 31. The St. Louis-based company closed furniture plants in Thomasville and High Point earlier this year. The company, which bought assets of Furniture Brands International in November, plans to move its headquarters to the Triad area later this year.

State to test for potential fracking sites in Western NC

June 3, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Geologists with the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources will begin testing rock samples from seven Western N.C. counties to determine if there is a potential for deposits of oil or natural gas. 

Asheville's HomeTrust bank completes purchase of Jefferson Bancshares

June 3, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Asheville-based HomeTrust Bancshares completed its $25.2 million purchase of Morristown, Tenn.-based Jefferson Bancshares. HomeTrust gains $506.8 million in assets from the purchase.

Movie based on 1997 Loomis Fargo robbery to film in NC

May 30, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson and Kristen Wiig will star in a movie set to film in Asheville. "Loomis Fargo," which will also film in Wilmington for a couple of weeks, is based on the 1997 robbery of the Loomis Fargo & Co. vault in Charlotte. Production is scheduled to begin July 7.

Asheville solar company wants to build 12 mega-farms

May 29, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

Innovative Solar Farms wants to build 12 huge solar farms, mostly in Eastern N.C. The farms would range from 25 to 80 megawatts in size and would require hundreds of acres of leased land.

Highland Brewing plans summer beer festival

May 28, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Highland Brewing will hold a beer and music festival on July 26, the same weekend the city's Bele Chere festival was held previously. Highland's Ale Share festival will donate proceeds to the Asheville Parks and Greenway Foundation.

Beer tourism becoming economic driver in Western NC

May 27, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville-area beer festivals and tours are attacting visitors from across the state and beyond, as beer tourism grows and contributes to local economies. Sierra Nevada expects as many as 5,000 visitors at its Beer Camp Across America festival Aug. 3 in Mills River. 

Stanley workers in Graham County eligible for federal aid

May 21, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

About 400 workers who are losing their jobs when Stanley Furniture closes its Robbinsville plant are eligible to apply for federal aid through a program that provides income support and job search assistance for people put out of work due to international trade. Stanley is moving its furniture manufacturing operations to China. (Regional Report, May 2014)

MGM Studios to film new movie in Asheville

May 20, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

MGM Studios will film "Max," a movie starring Lauren Graham and Thomas Hayden Church, in Asheville beginning in June. Boaz Yadkin, director of "Remember the Titans," co-wrote and will direct the movie about a dog who is traumatized after helping soldiers in Afghanistan.

Three Western environmental groups merge to expand influence

May 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Three environmental organizations based in Western N.C. have combined to form one group that will cover 23 counties. The group hopes that pooling resources will allow it to better influence environmental policy at various levels of government.