Workmen remove old windows and install new, energy-efficient windows in the 85-year-old Assembly Inn at Montreat Conference Center. The windows contributed to more than $70,000 in savings on energy costs. Photo courtesy of Montreat Conference Center.

85-year-old Assembly Inn at Montreat undergoes renovation

A newly completed $6.2 million renovation has brought the Montreat Conference Center’s historic Assembly Inn into the 21st century.  A June 29 rededication ceremony will celebrate the completion of the work. The directors of the Mountain Retreat Association, which manages the 85-year-old hostelry, say they wanted an update that no one would notice. “The inn is the postcard picture every visitor […]

Preview: Asheville Council weighs budget, rezonings on June 24

On Tuesday, June 24, Asheville City Council will vote on the annual budget, which holds the property tax rate steady and pumps millions into capital improvements such as sidewalks on Hendersonville Road, greenways at Town Branch and Clingman and a roundabout at Five Points. According to the agenda, Council will also review a rezoning request that […]

Data prepared by the Labor & Economic Analysis Division of the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

NC adjusted unemployment rate increases slightly from April to May, decreases since 2013

From the North Carolina Department of Commerce – Labor and Economic Analysis Division: RALEIGH — The state’s seasonally adjusted May unemployment rate was 6.4 percent, increasing 0.2 of a percentage point from April’s revised rate of 6.2 percent. The national rate remained unchanged at 6.3 percent. North Carolina’s May 2014 unemployment rate was 1.9 percentage […]

Image of EDC Chair Paul Szurek via EDC video.

Development officials: Local economic forecast looks bright

Ben Teague, executive director of the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County, predicts a bright future for the local economy. He joined hundreds of other government and business leaders June 19 at the group’s annual meeting to celebrate recent successes and plot a path forward. The organization is a year and half ahead of schedule […]

Julie Mayfield and Brian Turner talk after the Green Drinks presentation on coal ash legislation. (Mountain Xpress / Jesse Farthing)

Asheville Green Drinks group hears coal-ash legislation update

If adopted, N.C. Senate Bill 729 would require Duke Energy to close its coal-ash dump sites. This week, the proposed legislation inched closer to adoption as it wound its way through various legislative committees, and about a dozen people attended the June 18 social-networking series, Asheville Green Drinks, to learn more and note some of the bill’s shortcomings. Julie Mayfield, co-director […]

Duke Energy's Asheville power plant (photo courtesy of Southwings)

N.C. officials order Duke Energy to address piping systems at coal-ash plants

No leaks have been discovered at Duke Energy’s Asheville plant, which runs on coal — like the one on the Dan River where a broken pipe released thousands of gallons of coal ash. But the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources has ordered the company to provide its engineer’s assessment, saying that “portions of […]

Former Asheville evidence room manager gets 10 months jail time

On June 17, former Asheville Police Department evidence-room manager William “Lee” Smith got 10 months jail time for embezzling government property. Local media outlets, including Xpress, had sued for release of an evidence-room audit tied to the case but withheld by Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore. That report will be released on Thursday, June […]

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Smart Bets web extra: Asheville Summer Cycle, June 28

Asheville on Bikes’ Summer Cycle, on Saturday, June 28, is definitely about bikes. The annual social ride leaves City Hall at 4 p.m., cruises for seven miles through North Asheville and ends at the Wedge Brewing Company. “The Summer Cycle is a celebration of casual urban riding through Asheville’s beautiful neighborhoods,” says a press release. But […]

Former Asheville police evidence manager to be sentenced

Carolina Public Press reports: Lee Smith, the Asheville Police Department’s longtime evidence manager who resigned under a cloud of suspicion in early 2011 and last year pleaded guilty to stealing drug evidence, will be sentenced Tuesday, June 17, according to the federal prosecutor’s office in Charlotte. In an interview this week with Carolina Public Press, Buncombe […]