Apartment growth surges in South Asheville

September 25, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

There are 1,400 apartment units under construction in South Asheville, where the occupancy rate is 96%. It's the biggest apartment boom Buncombe County has seen in 25 years, according to one developer, who worries the area will become overbuilt. 
Read more about the apartment boom in North Carolina's center cities (Statewide, June)

Brevard brewery fuels growth for Oskar Blues

September 19, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Thanks to the addition of its Brevard brewery − which produced 46,000 barrels of beer in 2013 − the Colorado-based company earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies.

Noble Cider expanding, moving to West Asheville

September 18, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville-based Noble Cider will open a new 80-barrel cidery and taproom in early 2015. The craft-cider maker will move into a 9,000-square-foot building in West Asheville. The new space will allow Noble, which uses North Carolina-grown apples, to increase annual cider production from 14,000 gallons this year to at least 40,000 gallons. 

Judge orders early voting site at App State

October 14, 2014

(Winston-Salem Journal)

A Wake County Superior Court judge ordered the state Board of Elections to include at least one on-campus early voting site at Appalachian State University. The Watauga County elections board removed the long-standing voting site prior to the May primary. Opponents of the plan to remove the voting center say it makes it harder for students, who are more likely to vote Democratic, to cast ballots.

Asheville river district could receive millions more

September 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville could receive as much as $8.5 million in additional funds to redevelop its River Arts District. The federal government awarded the city $14.6 million for transportation improvements in the area, and the city will invest $14.6 million. 

Group says fracking supporters bused in homeless to boost numbers at hearing

September 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

An environmental group says the N.C. Energy Coalition bused in a group of homeless men unfamiliar with the practice of hydraulic fracturing from Winston-Salem in an effort to bolster the number of fracking supporters at a public hearing in Cullowhee on Friday.

About 600 turn out for final fracking meeting

September 15, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

About 600 people attended the state's final public hearing on hydraulic-fracturing regulations. The majority of the speakers at the four-hour meeting in Cullowhee opposed the practice. The N.C. Geological Survey retreated from plans to collect rock samples in Western N.C. to test for potential shale-gas deposits.

Buncombe likely to provide incentives for Wicked Weed expansion

September 12, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Buncombe County commissioners will vote Tuesday on giving almost $75,000 in incentives to Wicked Weed Brewing for its previously announced expansion. The beer company will invest at least $6.5 million and add 75 jobs over four years as part of the agreement.

Equestrian center brings challenges, benefits to Polk County

September 11, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Tryon International Equestrian Center, opened July 2, is already having an impact on Polk County, which lacks enough hotels to accommodate the thousands of spectators the 1,400-acre resort expects to draw. The $100 million project, still under construction, will eventually include two hotels, an RV park and other lodging (Regional Report, August).

Asheville breweries expand to keep up with demand

September 11, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Craft beer sales are up 20% over last year, and Asheville breweries are spending millions to keep up with demand. The area's largest project is New Belgium's $175 million brewery under construction in West Asheville, which expects to hire up to 350 employees by spring 2015.

Final fracking hearing expected to draw more than 500

September 10, 2014

(The Sylva Herald)

Environmental-protection groups predict more than 500 people will attend North Carolina's final public hearing on fracking at Western Carolina University, even though legislators announced last week the state Geological Survey won't test for natural-gas deposits in Western N.C.

Asheville gets $14.6 million federal redevelopment grant

September 10, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The City of Asheville will receive $14.6 million in federal grant money to help redevelop the River Arts District and other communities.

Operator of Pisgah Inn gets 10-year contract extension

September 9, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Bruce O'Connell has won a contract to operate the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway until 2025. O'Connell made national headlines when he defiantly kept the 51-room inn open during the federal government shutdown last October. He plans upgrades to the inn's restaurant and gift shops.

Buncombe could lose hundreds of potential jobs if state doesn't act

September 8, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Buncombe County commissioners have approved local incentives for two companies that would bring a total of 450 jobs to the region, but those jobs could be in jeopardy if the state doesn't pass legislation to expand economic-development incentives.

Judge sends three to prison in 'Black Diamond' fraud case

September 5, 2014

(The Charlotte Observer)

A federal judge sentenced three hedge-fund managers to prison for their involvement in the "Black Diamond" Ponzi scheme (cover story, August 2012) that bilked 400 people, including many from Western N.C., out of $40 million. 

UNC Asheville waits for new chancellor to develop property

September 3, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

UNC Asheville officials say they will hold off on developing plans for 22 acres of recently acquired property near its campus until incoming Chancellor Mary Grant assumes her position in January. 

Asheville called quirkiest town in the U.S.

September 2, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Readers of Travel + Leisure magazine named Asheville the quirkiest town in the U.S., citing Friday-night drum circles at Pritchard Park, Vortex Doughnuts' local beer-of-the-day doughnuts and unique dining experiences.

NC Apple Festival kicks off today in Hendersonville

August 29, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Organizers hope cheaper gas prices will allow visitors to spend more at this weekend's annual Apple Festival. Festivalgoers spent more than $12 million on dining, retail and lodging in Henderson County during last year's four-day event.

Chinese lumber company could buy Stanley Furniture plant

August 28, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Tide & Times Group USA, a Chinese-owned lumber exporter with a headquarters in Charlotte, is in talks to buy part of the Graham County manufacturing plant previously occupied by Stanley Furniture (Regional Report, May). Robbinsville Mayor Steve Hooper said the company would hire 20 workers initially and could expand its workforce to 150.

Board finds contractor accountable in Boone motel deaths

August 25, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The N.C. Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating & Fire Sprinkler Contractors suspended one contractor's license for a year and filed a complaint against a second contractor for mistakes at a Boone motel that led to the deaths of three people from carbon monoxide poisoning in 2013.