With state funding gone, what’s next for Advantage West?

Twenty years ago, Sen. Martin Nesbitt spearheaded an initiative that aimed to make sure Western North Carolina wasn’t ignored when it came to bringing money, industry and jobs to the region. That initiative was the nonprofit agency Advantage West Economic Development Group, which covered a 23-county area, helped bring companies like Linamar and Sierra Nevada to […]

ASAP announces cost share & promotional support for area farmers

ASAP announces cost share & promotional support for area farmers ASHEVILLE, NC (March 16, 2015)— ASAP announces the launch of a farmer cost share program and the renewal of its popular wax produce box initiative, both designed to maximize economic opportunities for local farmers and identify “certified local food” in the marketplace in Western North Carolina. Both […]

Hickory gets $200,000 EPA brownfields grant for Southside area

The city of Hickory will work with the community and other stakeholders to develop an area-wide plan and implementation strategy for the Southside Area, which includes the Ridgeview, Kenworth, and Green Park neighborhoods. In the early 1960s, the City boasted 46 furniture plants, 89 hosiery mills, and 27 other manufacturers. Between 2001 and 2011, the Hickory metropolitan area lost 37,900 jobs due to the closing of mills and factories, resulting in an increase in the poverty rate from 11.3 to 20 percent (within the project area, the poverty rate is 35.7 percent).

General Assembly: Charter schools, adult education see action-attachment0

From the ‘Raleigh Report’ to ‘Politically Purple,’ get your state news in Asheville

In addition to regular updates by Mark Barrett with the Asheville Citizen-Times, there are two locally based sources for getting a fix on the news in Raleigh, where North Carolina legislators meet — one from former Mountain Xpress editor Nelda Holder and the other from the nonprofit, online media source Carolina Public Press.

NC Policy Watch: Efforts underway to ‘right-size’ the NC’s university system

Is North Carolina’s university system headed for a down-sizing? The progressive nonprofit, N.C. Policy Watch, takes a look at recent reports and comments by UNC board members and legislators. Here are a few excerpts from the March 5 post, “Effort to ‘Right-Size’ the UNC System in the Works,” by Sarah Ovaska: Significant changes may be on […]

WNC news: Will Lake Junaluska merge with Waynesville?

The Smoky Mountain News reports that Lake Junaluska residents are attempting for the third year in a row to merge with the town of Waynesville. A bill is pending in the state legislature, but “despite widespread support among lake residents to merge with Waynesville, [previous attempts were] stymied by behind-the-scenes political forces,” says Becky Johnson of SMN: […]

MountainTrue will host non-native invasive plant control at Richmond Hill March 14

Next Saturday, March 14, local envir0-nonprofit MountainTrue will lead an invasive-species cleanup at Richmond Hill Park. Here’s the details: Who:  Volunteer work day with MountainTrue What: Non-Native Invasive Plant Control Where:  Richmond Hill Park, Asheville, NC When:  9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, March 14 – (Rain Date: Sunday, March 15) Why:  To restore native plant communities by controlling non-native invasive plants along a major […]

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ESTEAM expo March 28 builds students’ confidence today for jobs tomorrow

WNC TO HOST “ESTEAM” EXPO March 28 at WNC Ag Center Building Confidence Today for the Careers of Tomorrow March 5, 2014 – Asheville, NC – The Science House of NCSU, BioNetwork and A-B Tech Community College announce the second annual ESTEAM Expo at the WNC Ag Center in Fletcher, NC.  Scheduled for March 28, […]

NC agency drafts interim permits to ‘better protect’ water quality near coal ash ponds

State agency drafts permits to better protect water quality near coal ash ponds until closure plans are approved  RALEIGH – State environmental officials this week announced an interim step to better protect water quality around several of Duke Energy’s largest coal ash storage facilities. The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources is proposing modifications to […]

The former CTS site on Mills Gap Road was added to the federal Superfund list in 2012. File photo

The Atlantic releases story on the CTS contamination

Contamination from the long-closed CTS site on Mills Gap Road continues to garner national attention. The latest is “Don’t Drink the Water,” a story in The Atlantic magazine by Kevin Maurer. The story reviews the history of the contamination, from reports in 1990 to the “day the EPA showed up at [Terry Rice’s] door with bottled […]

More snow? Get ready, NC, says governor’s office

With more snow and the chance for hazardous road conditions, N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory says he’ll activate the State Emergency Operations Center  tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 25. And Public Safety Sec. Frank L. Perry urges motorists to “stay off the roads adversely impacted by weather unless it is absolutely necessary to travel.” Here’s the governor’s full release: State […]

Thinking of spring? PARI notes the vernal equinox March 20

THE VERNAL EQUINOX (February 25, 2015) – Astronomers at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute point out that at 6:45 p.m. EDT on Friday, March 20, the sun will cross the celestial equator in the sky heading north. This will be the first moment of spring. What is the astronomical significance of this event? At this […]

Graham County awarded $500,000 in NC rural infrastructure grants

Graham County — with the highest unemployment in Western North Carolina — has been awarded $500,000 to support the reuse of a 571,869 sq. ft. building in Robbinsville. The building was constructed in 1958 and has been vacant for three months. Oak Valley Hardwoods processes saw and dry lumber to be sold as a raw material. Oak […]

Local nonprofits thank Omni Grove Park Inn for donations

The Asheville City Schools Foundation, Children First/Communities in Schools of Buncombe County, Eliada Homes, the American Legion, Homeward Bound and the Council on Aging of Buncombe County publicly thank the Omni Grove Park Inn for helping raise almost$61,000 for their collective causes. Here are more details from Erica Bell, director of Development for the Asheville City Schools Foundation: […]

WNC colleges boost regional economy by $2 billion, study says

Earlier this week, North Carolina’s institutions of higher education released a study indicating a $63.5 billion economic impact in the state. Today, Western North Carolina’s colleges and universities point to the regional impact in this release from UNC Asheville: Public higher education institutions in Western North Carolina are responsible for injecting at least $2 billion […]

And the Wild South conservation-award nominees are…

Local nominees for conservation nonprofit Wild South include Jack Igelman of Carolina Public Press, Karen Chavez of the Asheville Citizen-Times, William David and Second Gear. Winners will be announced at the nonprofit’s 7th annual Green Gala Friday, March 20, at the Orange Peel in Asheville. Here’s more information about the awards: Wild South Announces 7th Annual Conservation Award Nominees ASHEVILLE, […]

EPA approves Eastern Band of Cherokee water-quality standards program

The reservation lands in and around Cherokee, N.C., have about 200 miles of streams with approximately 100 square miles of wetlands, and are known for the trout fishery, species diversity, clear mountain streams, and scenic views. Now they have the authority to administer water-quality standards under the Clean Water Act — one of only three […]

Stephanie Pace Brown and Matthew Burril join Airport Authority

The Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority has two new board members: Stephanie Pace Brown and Matthew Burril. Here’s the GARAA press release about their appointments: ‘The Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority welcomes new board members The Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority (GARAA) is pleased to announce the addition of two new board members, Stephanie Pace Brown and […]