Environmental groups challenge $10M bond in Duke Energy case

May 25, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Two environmental groups are challenging a ruling that would require them to post a $10 million bond if they appeal the state Utilities Commission's approval of Duke Energy's plans to replace its power plant near Asheville. The utility wants to convert the coal-fired plant to natural gas.

Auto-parts maker adding 41 jobs in Buncombe County

May 23, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Arkansas-based Baldor Electric Company is investing $4.2 million in its Weaverville plant, adding 41 jobs. About 140 people currently work at the Buncombe County factory, which makes automotive components for Dodge.

NCDOT chooses route for I-26 connector in Western NC

May 20, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Environmentalists applauded the N.C. Department of Transportation's choice of a route for the Interstate 26 Connector Project that will connect downtown Asheville with West Asheville via a bridge across the French Broad River. The plan also includes facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists. The route wasn't part of the DOT's original plans, but local groups proposed the idea and convinced the DOT to support the route.

Canton paper mill a mainstay in Western NC

May 17, 2016

(Smoky Mountain News)

Demand for coated paper coffee cups — and a shift away from Styrofoam by retailers including McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts — has been a boon for Evergreen Packaging in Haywood County, which employs about 900 people. The paper mill's future seemed uncertain a year ago when rumors circulated that the mill was for sale; then the company's New Zealand-based parent, Rank Group Limited, decided to keep it.

Battle against Duke Energy gas plant could cost $10 million

May 13, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Two environmental groups could have to pay $10 million if they appeal the state Utilities Commission's approval of Duke Energy's proposed $1 billion plan to convert its Asheville-area power plant from coal to natural gas and lose the case. The utility argued for a higher bond, claiming delays related to an appeal could cost the company and its customers as much as $240 million.

Study: Asheville housing market is unsustainable

May 10, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The housing market in the Asheville metro area has reached an unhealthy level, where only the wealthy can afford to live there and locals are being priced out of the market, according to a national report by insurer Nationwide.

Opinion: US needs to uphold promise to Swain County

May 9, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Swain County is preparing to sue the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior over $40 million owed to the county. In the 1940s, as the federal government began acquiring land to build Fontana Dam, a new road was promised for the lake's north shore. Dubbed "The Road to Nowhere,"  it was never completed. A settlement of $52 million was reached in 2003, but so far Swain has only received $12.8 million.

Entegra Financial hires former CertusBank exec

May 4, 2016

(American Banker)

The holding company for Franklin-based Entegra Bank named Lola Hart its chief accounting officer. Hart oversaw the liquidation of Greenville, S.C.-based CertusBank, which struggled financially after three executives were fired amid reports of excessive spending. Tim Strom, previously with Greer State Bank in South Carolina, was named director of mortgage lending.

Caterpillar to shutter Morganton plant, lay off 110 workers

May 2, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

Caterpillar said last week it will close its engine plant in Morganton by the end of 2017, eliminating 110 jobs. The cuts are part of a global restructuring; Caterpillar says sales in construction, oil and gas, mining and rail continued to decline in the first quarter. The company recently reduced its workforce in Winston-Salem and plans to close a plant in Franklin.

Visitor spending on the rise at national parks in NC

April 29, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The latest report from the National Park Service shows that 17.8 million visitors spent $1.19 billion in North Carolina in 2015, supporting 19,984 jobs and generating an economic impact of $1.67 billion. The Blue Ridge Parkway is the most popular attraction in the NPS with more than 15 million visitors in 2015. 

Asheville brewer adding 2nd location

April 27, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville's Wedge Brewing will open a second location in an 8,000-square-foot building in the city's River Arts District. Construction is scheduled to begin in a few months and should be complete by the end of 2016.

Equestrian center acquires more land for hotel, condos

April 26, 2016

(Hendersonville Times-News)

A spokeswoman for Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring said the1,400-acre resort has acquired additional land and will begin construction on a 180-room hotel, 40 condominiums priced from $450,000 to $1.3 million, and an additional 29 log-cabin rental homes.

Duke LifePoint challenges tax value of Jackson County hospital

April 25, 2016

(The Sylva Herald)

Jackson County appraisers valued Harris Regional Hospital and affiliated properties at $42 million, but Tennessee-based Duke LifePoint, which acquired the hospital in 2014, says the 80-acre property is only worth a little more than $13 million and will challenge the appraisal.

David Jackson, 'Voice of the Mountaineers,' resigns after 16 seasons

April 19, 2016

(Winston-Salem Journal)

David Jackson, associate athletic director at Appalachian State University, has resigned after working as a sports broadcaster at the school for 16 years. Known as "the Voice of the Mountaineers," Jackson said his schedule, which involved heavy travel and lots of weekend work, made it difficult to balance life with his wife and two children.

Inside Asheville's failed beer deal

April 18, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A look at Buncombe County's failed effort to attract Deschutes Brewery, a deal that would have involved an investment of up to $200 million and brought up to 237 jobs. Bend, Ore.-based Deschutes — the nation's sixth-largest craft beer company — instead chose Roanoake, Va., for its East Coast hub.

Asheville business owner: Don't boycott my store over law I despise

April 15, 2016

(The New York Times)

The owner of Malaprops Bookstore/Cafe in downtown Asheville writes an op-ed that describes how local businesses suffer when artists, customers and others boycott North Carolina over a law many don't support. Linda-Marie Barrett urges opponents of the law to consider new ways of protesting.

Asheville becoming less of a 'BYOJ' town

April 14, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

For years, the sentiment was that if you wanted to move to Asheville and didn't want to wait tables for a living, you might need to "bring your own job." While 7.2% of Asheville workers are self-employed, higher than the state and national rates, local economic developers say job openings are plentiful and there is growth in fields outside of hospitality, including in the technology and startup sectors.

ASU dedicates site for new $70M health-sciences building

April 14, 2016

(The Watauga Democrat)

The new building will house Appalachian State's Beaver College of Health Sciences, which formed in 2010 and is now the second largest college at ASU with more than 3,000 students. LS3P is the architect and Rodgers Builders in the construction manager for the 203,000-square-foot building.

Yarn-maker breaks ground on Burke County expansion

April 14, 2016

(Morganton News Herald)

Meridian Specialty Yarn Group is investing $8 million on an expansion of its Valdese plant. The company plans to add 25 jobs to its 140 when the addition is complete in 2017.

Report: Asheville rents are highest in the state

April 12, 2016

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Asheville is $1,180 a month, up 7.6% from a year ago, according to San Francisco-based Apartment List. Charlotte and Durham are second and third, with median rents of $1,140 and $1,100 respectively.