Western

Duke Energy to shutter Asheville coal plant

May 20, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Duke Energy Progress said Tuesday it will close its 376-megawatt, coal-fired power plant at Lake Julian within five years. The utility will build a new 650-watt, natural gas-fired plant that also will utilize solar energy. Duke plans to invest $1.1 billion in the project, which includes a new transmission substation in South Carolina. Pending state regulatory approval, the new plant could go online by 2020.

Western NC, upstate SC leaders join forces

May 20, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Business leaders from western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina met Tuesday to discuss taking a regional approach to economic development. The inaugural meeting of the I-26 Regional Business Leadership drew more than 80 business members from cities including Asheville, Spartanburg, S.C., and Greenville, S.C.

Asheville's Biltmore Village attracts new merchants

May 19, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville's historic Biltmore Village is thriving, with nine new independent merchants slated to open by June. Retail shops and restaurants there have reported a 5 to 20% increase in sales from 2013-14.

Asheville City Council cracks down on short-term rentals

May 14, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Members of the Asheville City Council want to toughen enforcement on short-term property rentals gaining popularity through websites such as Airbnb.com, saying the practice turns quiet, residential neighborhoods into noisy hotel districts and reduces affordable housing.

New Belgium's distribution center is complete

May 13, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

New Belgium Brewing has completed construction of a 141,000-square-foot distribution center in Enka. The Fort Collins, Colo.-based beer company's West Asheville brewery, which will serve the eastern United States, is under construction and scheduled to open by year-end.

Asheville restaurateurs: Lower taxes would help with wage issues

May 7, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville restaurant owners say there's no quick fix to wage disputes in the industry, particularly in a city where a rising cost of living forces many workers to live outside the city limit.

Buncombe may tighten construction rules near parkway

May 5, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Concerned that development will impact tourism, Buncombe County commissioners plan to vote Tuesday on strengthening restrictions on construction along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Asheville's BB&T building to become upscale hotel

April 29, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

McKibbon Hotel Group will convert Asheville's 17-story BB&T building into a high-end, boutique hotel with rates comparable to those of the Omni Grove Park Inn and the Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville. Construction is scheduled to be complete in 2017. "It will absolutely be the nicest hotel in the city," according to John McKibbon, chairman of the Tampa, Fla.-based hotel group.

Another craft brewer eyes Asheville for expansion

April 27, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery, the nation's sixth largest craft-beer brewer, is looking to build a brewery and distribution center that will allow it to expand in the Southeast and along the East Coast. Deschutes representatives in December visited several Asheville sites, including a 137-acre parcel recently purchased by Buncombe County, and plan to return in May.

Mission Health ranked among nation's best hospital systems

April 24, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

For the fourth consecutive year, Truven Health Analytics named Asheville's Mission Health one of the top 15 health systems in the United States. Mission earned the recognition for its low rate of complications, low death rates and high marks on overall patient satisfaction, among other criteria.

Yancey County deploys gigabit Internet service

April 21, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Yancey County deployed an ultra-fast Internet network in March, offering residents speeds of up to one gigabit per second. The project, which will expand into Mitchell County, was funded by an $18.6 million federal grant and a $6.6 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Asheville startup acquired by Boston software company

April 15, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Lab Escape, a 12-year-old Asheville-based software company with five employees, has been acquired by Boston-based e-commerce company Teikametrics for an undisclosed amount. Teikametrics helps third-party Amazon retailers with pricing and inventory analysis.

Asheville airport get $10M federal grant

April 15, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville Regional Airport was awarded a $10 million federal grant that will help fund a $64 million, four-year project to replace the airport's 50-year-old runway.

Advanced-manufacturing school opens in Burnsville

April 14, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

State and local officials celebrated the opening of Mayland Community College's Yancey Learning Center, a $2.4 million advanced-manufacturing school that has already enrolled 35 students. Charlotte-based Duke Energy Foundation donated $250,000 for the school to buy a 3-D metal printer.

Lees-McRae to expand athletic complex

April 13, 2015

(The Avery Journal-Times, Newland)

Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk plans to add an indoor training facility, a media room and a renovated student recreation center as part of an expansion to its athletic-complex. The projects will be funded with private donations and partnerships and are expected to be complete by fall 2015.

Buncombe courting 'significant' economic-development project

April 8, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Buncombe County commissioners remain tight-lipped about the identity of the company considering locating at a 137-acre industrial site the county plans to purchase for $6.8 million. Commissioner Brownie Newman said the company would provide "living-wage jobs ... that would support middle-class families."

DHHS audit finds deficiencies

April 3, 2015

(Greensboro News & Record)

An audit of the state Department of Health and Human Services showed significant errors and deficiencies in its oversight of state programs, including errors in 24% of 272 claims sampled that resulted in $464,942 in overpayment.

Asheville's Mission Hospital suffers losses from uninsured

March 30, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Mission Hospital's 63-bed ER lost $4 million in 2013 after writing off $17.5 million in charity care. Like other providers, the Asheville-based health system relies on private insurance to make money. The system lost $35.4 million on Medicare patients in 2013, and that number is expected to increase as the number of retirees in the region grows.

Asheville takes a closer look at plans for whitewater park

March 26, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville City Council will allow staffers to examine plans for a whitewater park for kayakers on the French Broad River. Park advocates spoke out in support of the $1.8 million facility, which would be privately funded.

Asheville's River Arts District gets makeover

March 23, 2015

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville's River Arts District will benefit from $50 million in public funding and about $200 million in private investment over the next six years. The money will pay for greenways, road improvements and other infrastructure upgrades in the once-industrial area.