Western

Rutherfordton manufacturer will expand, add 76 jobs

October 29, 2013

(The Shelby Star)

Trelleborg Coated Systems US Inc. said last week it will expand its manufacturing operations in Rutherford County, investing $10.6 million over four years and creating 76 jobs. The company, a division of Italy-based Trelleborg Group, makes polymer-coated fabrics for industrial applications such as life rafts and aircraft evacuation slides.

Western NC farmers plant first barley crops to supply regional breweries

October 25, 2013

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Western North Carolina farmers are trying out a new crop in response to the region's growing craft beer industry: barley. If successful, growing the barley locally will save brewers transportation costs and minimize polllution. The grain, which is usually grown in cooler climates farther to the north, is processed into malt used by breweries in the beer-making process.

President of A-B Tech leaving effective Jan. 1

October 25, 2013

(The Asheville Citizen-Times)

Hank Dunn is stepping down as president of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, a position he has held since March 2010, effective Jan. 1. The reason for his departure was not immediately disclosed.

Buncombe precinct chair resigns after "Daily Show" appearance

October 25, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Don Yelton, member of the N.C. Republican Party and Buncombe County precinct chair, resigned that position yesterday following an appearance in a recorded segment on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." The state GOP found Mr. Yelton's racially charged comments in the five-minute segment, which focused on North Carolina's new election law, to be "completely inappropriate and highly offensive" and called for his resignation. 

New Belgium will resume construction on Asheville brewery

October 24, 2013

(The Asheville Citizen-Times)

New Belgium Brewing, which halted construction of its Asheville brewery in May, announced it will resume site preparation in November and hopes to begin primary construction in May 2014. The Fort Collins, Colo.-based company now expects to open its expansion brewery in 2015.

Boone businessman reactivates Citizens for Change PAC

October 23, 2013

(The Watauga Democrat)

A local business owner is reviving Citizens for Change, a political action committee he formed in 2006 in response to building regulations enacted by the Boone Town Council. Jeff Templeton, who owns a  Christian travel agency, reactivated the committee which has been inactive since 2009, to promote candidates it supports for the 2013 Boone municipal elections.

Hudson furniture-parts maker experiences 300 percent growth in 2013

October 22, 2013

(News-Topic, Lenoir)

Timber Wolf Forest Products, which once manufactured furniture components for a small group of large furntiture companies including Thomasville, Broyhill and Bernhardt, found that by diversifying its offerings and launching a new website and print catalog the company was able to double its sales from 2011 to 2012, and has grown 300 percent this year, according to owner Randy Roper.

Florida developer's mixed-use project plan for Boone moves forward

October 22, 2013

(The Watuaga Democrat)

The Boone Town Council approved water allocation for Coral Gables, Fla.-based Cornerstone Campus Communities' proposed apartment and retail project on the site of the former Shadowline plant. An earlier request was denied due to concerns about the size of the project and the number of student-oriented units, but was approved last week when the company presented a new site plan for the project.

Western NC fish hatchery expands, plans tours to educate visitors on aquaculture

October 21, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Waynesville's Sunburst Trout Farm will open a second 12,000 square-foot center it plans to use for advancement in fish processing technology and also as a center for agritourism to teach people about aquaculture.

Vinson trial concludes in Seven Falls case

October 18, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Federal prosecutors made their closing arguments yesterday in the trial of Keith Vinson, the real estate developer accused of conspiring along with ten others to "defraud federally insured banks and others" to forestall the failure of their luxury golf resort development in Henderson County. Ten other co-defendants have all pleaded guilty for their involvement in the scheme.

Economic growth continues rise in Western N.C.

October 17, 2013

(The Winston-Salem Journal)

Economic activity in Western North Carolina rose slightly in August, the seventh consecutive monthly increase for the 25-county region. The Western North Carolina Economic Index is compiled by the Center for Economic Research & Policy Analysis at Appalachian State University.

Former entrepreneurship leader Pam Lewis says Asheville chamber wanted her to leave NC

October 17, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Former Chamber of Commerce official Pam Lewis, who was fired in September, says initially the organization would not offer her severance unless she left the state and did not compete with the chamber for a year. Lewis said the chamber revised that request and asked her to leave the Buncombe County MSA, but she refused. Chamber CEO Kit Cramer denies Lewis' version of events; severance negotiations are ongoing.

Groundbreaking held for new Cherokee casino

October 16, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians broke ground in Murphy yesterday on a new $110 million casino and hotel to be operated by Caesar's Entertainment Corp. Tribal leaders say the new casino, which will be located about an hour's drive southwest of the existing Harrah's Cherokee casino, will create 900 jobs.

Smokies to reopen for five days

October 16, 2013

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

North Carolina and Tennessee are contributing money to reopen the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for five days during the busy fall tourism period. The park, closed since the partial government shutdown began over two weeks ago, will be open today through Sunday. North Carolina's $75,000 share will come from tourism advertising dollars.

Appalachian Regional home health programs sold to Atlanta company

October 15, 2013

(The Watauga Democrat)

Atlanta-based Gentiva Health Services Inc. has purchased Boone-based Appalachian Regional Healthcare System's home health and community care programs. According to a spokesman from ARHS, the programs serve 230 to 250 clients in six Western counties. 

Economic impact of Smokies shutdown is $33 million

October 14, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

An economist from Western Carolina University estimates the 10 North Carolina and eight Tennessee counties located within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park lost more than $33 million in visitor spending during the first 10 days of the partial federal government shutdown.

Commerce will honor Rural Center grant for Blowing Rock medical center

October 14, 2013

(The Watauga Democrat)

An official from the N.C. Department of Commerce has confirmed that Blowing Rock will receive a grant originally promised by the now defunded N.C. Rural Center to pay for water and sewer infrastructure for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System's new post-acute care center there.

Asheville area inn reopens despite closure of national parks

October 11, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The Pisgah Inn in Waynesville reached an agreement this week with the U.S. Department of the Interior which allowed it to reopen for the rest of its planned fall season. The Blue Ridge Parkway business is privately owned and operated, but the land and building itself are owned by the federal government, which made the inn close its doors last week as part of the partial government shutdown.

Asheville, Durham credit unions complete merger

October 11, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville's United Services Credit Union has merged with Durham-based Self-Help Credit Union. United Services, originally formed by a group of Mission Hospital employees, had nearly 11,000 members before the merger. Self-Help had $583 million in assets and over 40,000 members. 

Local Democrats call for removal of two Watauga elections board members

October 10, 2013

(The Watauga Democrat)

Three Watuaga County Democrats have filed a complaint with the State Board of Elections asking for removal of the president and secretary of the local Board of Elections based on recent actions they claim are unethical.  The elections board received national attention this past summer for its decision to remove polls from the campus of Appalachian State University, a decision they later overturned.