February 2, 2016
(The News Herald, Morganton)
Meridian Specialty Yarn Group will build a 100,000-square-foot addition to its yarn plant in Valdese, adding 25 jobs to its existing 140. The $8.5 million expansion will allow the Milwaukee-based company to make raw material it had previously been importing. Meridian will receive two state grants totaling nearly $1.9 million.
January 28, 2016
(The Daily Courier, Rutherfordton)
Horsehead Holding temporarily ceased operations at its Rutherford County zinc production plant, idling most of its 250 employees. The Pittsburgh-based company opened the $490 million plant less than two years ago.
January 27, 2016
The median sale price for a home in Asheville was $242,500, a 7.8% increase over the previous record of $225,000. Low inventory and high demand are creating a sellers' market – on Jan. 5, only 1,187 homes were listed on the market in Buncombe County, the lowest level since 2004.
January 22, 2016
Sitel, a global business-services company, will move the work done at its Asheville call center to Knoxville, Tenn. About 250 workers will be affected when the center closes, by July 30. Workers who want to transfer will be offered jobs in Knoxville.
January 21, 2016
(The News Herald, Morganton)
Burke County commissioners approved incentives for an unidentified company to bring 25 new jobs over five years. The company, whose name will be revealed Jan. 29, plans to invest $8.5 million in Valdese.
January 19, 2016
More than 15 million people visited the Blue Ridge Parkway in 2015, a 7% increase over the year before. The 469-mile parkway, which stretches from Cherokee to Shenandoah, Va., was the National Park Service's most visited attraction while the Great Smoky Mountains was the most visited national park with 10.7 million visitors, a park record.
January 18, 2016
Duke Energy Progress filed plans on Friday for two proposed natural-gas power plants to replace its coal-fired one near Asheville. Some environmental groups are concerned the public won't have enough time to review plans for the $1.1 billion project: Duke has asked the state utilities commission to approve the project by March 1.
January 13, 2016
Allegiant Air will begin offering twice weekly flights from Asheville Regional Airport to Baltimore/Washington International, with one-way fares starting at $39. The seasonal flights will operate May 19 through Aug. 16. The airport set a record for passenger traffic last year, with more than 400,000 people boarding flights.
January 8, 2016
As New Belgium Brewing prepares to open its $140 million brewery in Asheville, reports show the Colorado-based company is looking for a buyer. The beer company has taken on a lot of debt with the construction of its East Coast location and through an employee buyout of the company's founder, Kim Jordan. New Belgium plans to employ about 150 in Asheville once it reaches full brewing capacity.
January 7, 2016
Burial Beer Company, the maker of beers with names such as The Remains and The Triumph of Death, is investing $1.8 million in a new brewery near Asheville's Biltmore Village. The 3-year-old company plans to hire 17 new employees.
January 4, 2016
After weeks of unseasonably warm weather, ski areas in Western North Carolina are open for business, with temperatures finally cold enough to resume snowmaking. Cataloochee Ski Area will be open expanded hours this week to take advantage of the cold temps.
December 22, 2015
Switzerland-based GF Automotive and Linamar, a Canada-based powertrain company, may build a plant with as many as 350 employees over the next several years. A Jan. 4 hearing of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners will “consider economic-development incentives” for the GF Automotive-Linamar collaboration, Wyatt said. The partnership plans to invest $42.3 million in a factory and another $174.9 million in machinery and equipment through 2023, according to public records.
December 16, 2015
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort in Madison County hopes to open by Sunday following weeks of warmer-than-expected weather. The resort will lose $100,000 in revenue if it's not able to open Christmas week, says Kathy Bogdanescu, group sales coordinator. The N.C. ski season typically runs from November-March and last year contributed $197.2 million to the state's economy, according to a recent report.
December 11, 2015
The Asheville City Council voted unanimously to submit a resolution to the N.C. Department of Transportation that recommends minimizing the size of the $750 million Interstate 26 project. The state's proposal calls for widening Interstate 240 from four to eight lanes in west Asheville.
December 9, 2015
With DVD and CD sales plummeting in recent years, Arvato Digital Services will close its production plant in Weaverville after 32 years in operation. The plant once employed about 1,500 people.
December 9, 2015
A $3.7 million proposed development on Lake Lure in Rutherford County has homeowners divided. Tryon Equestrian Partners wants to add a conference center, restaurant and expanded lodge that would provide an economic boost and create 20 full-time jobs, plus seasonal ones. Opponents say the development would increase traffic and spoil the area's peaceful vibe.
December 1, 2015
(The News and Observer of Raleigh)
Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Hendersonville Republican, won't run for an eighth term. He has been chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, overseeing much of the legislation considered by state lawmakers. His decision follows a similar retirement plan of Sen. Bob Rucho, a Matthews Republican. Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger praised Apodaca and called him one of his best friends.
December 1, 2015
State government hopes to lure a sponsor to fund bus service between Asheville and the passenger rail station in Salisbury. Service for a statewide rail plan is scheduled to start in 2018 under state Board of Transportation plans. Officials want to promote passenger rail as the state improves tracks between Charlotte and Raleigh. Asheville businesses see the bus service as a potential boost to tourism.
November 30, 2015
Facebook awarded grants totaling $72,500 to schools, a children's museum and other organizations that support STEM education programs in Cleveland, McDowell, Polk and Rutherford counties. It's the fifth year the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has issued community grants to groups near its Forest City data center, which is undergoing its second expansion since opening in 2011.
November 25, 2015
(The Charlotte Observer)
Google will buy energy credits to help power its Lenoir data center from a 61-megawatt solar farm that will be built in Rutherford County. It's part of a new partnership with Duke Energy called the Green Source Rider, in which customers that use a lot of power – such as those that operate data centers – agree to purchase renewable energy at premium rates.