Western

Diamond Brand announces second Asheville store

December 16, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Arden-based Diamond Brand Outdoors will open an adventure boutique this summer at Asheville Aloft Hotel in downtown Asheville. The outdoor sporting-goods retailer recently announced a new store in South Asheville that could open by spring.

Western NC hospital group moves forward with Duke LifePoint deal

December 13, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

WestCare Health System took another step toward a deal which would allow Duke LifePoint Healthcare to acquire Sylva's Harris Regional Hospital and Bryson City's Swain County Hospital. The board of  the Sylva-based health-care company signed a "memorandum of understanding" with the Brentwood, Tenn.-based company, which is a joint venture of Duke University and LifePoint Hospitals.

Buncombe residents voice concern over residential project

December 12, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Area residents and a developer met this week to discuss a proposed project that would bring 300 homes and 50 rental units to a rural tract in eastern Buncombe County. The developer wants the land to be rezoned to include commercial uses, such as a farm-to-table restaurant. 

Sale of hospital to Duke LifePoint would boost tax revenue in Swain County

December 12, 2013

(The Smoky Mountain Times)

The potential sale of WestCare's hospital in Swain County could bring more tax revenue to the county and Bryson City. That's because MedWest Swain will likely be purchased by Duke LifePoint, which is a for-profit corporation and would be required to pay property taxes on the land and buildings. 

Shareholders approve First Citizens-Mountain 1st merger

December 11, 2013

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Shareholders of 1st Financial Services Corp. approved a merger between the Hendersonville-based bank and its subsidiary Mountain 1st Bank & Trust Co. and Raleigh-based First Citizens Bank. Mountain 1st operates 12 branches primarily in Western N.C. counties.

Warren Wilson College gets $400,000 for forestry program

December 9, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Swannanoa's Warren Wilson College received a $400,000 gift from an alumna of the school to help maintain and preserve its research forest. The money will be used to create a fellowship to support programs in sustainable forestry, forest management, science and policy.

Hindu cleric protesting Asheville Brewing beer

December 5, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A Hindu cleric from Nevada is calling for the withdrawal of Asheville Brewing's flagship beer, Shiva IPA, saying the use of the name of the Hindu deity Shiva is inappropriate. Asheville Brewing president Mike Rangel says he has previously addressed the issue with local and regional Hindus, and has no plans to change the beer's name.

Former Marion fire chief charged with embezzlement

December 4, 2013

(The McDowell News)

A grand jury has indicted the former fire chief of the Ashford-North Cove Volunteer Fire Department under allegations he embezzled money. Thomas Dexter Swofford is accused of embezzling more than $269,000 of the fire department's funds between Jan. 2010 and July 2013.

NC Christmas tree farmers have best crop in recent years

December 2, 2013

(The Burlington Times-News)

Agriculture officials say this year's crop of Christmas trees grown in North Carolina is the best in years, in part due to the abundance of rain in the spring and early summer months.

 

Heritage tourism adds $2.4 billion to Western NC economy

December 2, 2013

(The Watauga Democrat)

A study commissioned by the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area reports that heritage tourism contributes $2.4 billion to the regional economies of the 24-county area the organization serves. The BRNHA was formed 10 years ago to stimulate economic growth through preservation of the natural cultural resources of Western North Carolina.

Leicester homeopathic company expects to double revenue in 2014

December 2, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Leicester's King Bio has grown from 21 employees since opening in 1989 to more than 100, and is about to add 122,000 square feet of warehouse space in Weaverville. The company makes homeopathic remedies that now retail in Whole Foods, Target, Walmart, CVS and other grocery stores and top retailers.

Bryson City federal courthouse will close at year-end

December 2, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A federal courthouse in Bryson City is among four nationwide that will close at the end of the year in an effort to save money. The courthouse, which does not have a resident judge, serves six Western counties.

Federal judge sends 3 to prison in Seven Falls case

November 27, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Three men involved in the Seven Falls development case were sentenced to federal prison yesterday at a U.S. District Court in Asheville for their involvement in conspiring to obtain illegal loans to forestall the development of the bankrupt golf community.

Mountain BizWorks to restructure, issue layoffs

November 27, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Just two weeks after its president and chief executive stepped down, Asheville's Mountain BizWorks announced it will lay off another eight to 10 employees in a restructuring of the business. The nonprofit will narrow its focus to lending and business consulting for small businesses, eliminating its popular business-planning classes.

High Country ski resorts open for the season

November 26, 2013

(The Watauga Democrat)

Appalachian Ski Mountain plans to open Nov. 27 with nine of its 12 slopes and its ice skating rink ready for business. Sugar Mountain Resort has already opened five slopes, and Beech Mountain Resort plans to open Friday Nov. 29.

Western vineyards, wineries want to create wine trail

November 25, 2013

(Hendersonville Times-News)

A group of vineyards and wineries in Henderson and Polk counties is developing a wine trail for tourists and wine enthusiasts that will include the towns of Columbus, Flat Rock, Saluda and Tryon. Proponents are hopeful the scenic wine trail will encourage the growth of new restaurants and accomodations along its route.

Hotel group calls off deal for downtown Asheville property

November 25, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A Georgia-based hotel group notified Asheville city officials it will not move forward with plans to purchase a 0.8-acre site on Haywood St. where it had planned to build a 140-room hotel. McKibbon Hotel Group had planned to purchase the property for $2.3 million, but now says it will focus on its plans for a mixed-use development on the BB&T Building property. 

Bumper crop of apples expected in Henderson County

November 22, 2013

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Despite a labor shortage and heavier than usual rainfall, apple growers in Henderson County say this season's crops will be one of the largest in several years. According to a county official, growers are expected to harvest close to 3 million bushels.

Haywood hospital board agrees to Duke LifePoint sale

November 22, 2013

(Smoky Mountain News, Waynesville)

The Haywood Regional Medical Center board of directors voted unanimously to sell the hospital to Duke LifePoint Healthcare system following a public hearing last week where community leaders, hospital employees and others overwhelmingly supported the sale.

Asheville group urges Duke Energy to abandon coal for clean energy sources

November 21, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A petition drive sponsored by the Asheville Beyond Coal campaign displayed a 116-foot-long petition containing 1,000 names of people calling on Duke Energy to move toward more clean energy sources. The petition, along with a binder containing an additional 4,500 names of supporters, was presented to a representative from the Charlotte-based utility on Wednesday.