N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory signed an executive order calling for Duke Energy to address coal-ash issues (pictured here, the Skyland plant south of Asheville). (photo by Grady Cooper)

NC calls on Duke Energy to address coal ash at Asheville and other sites

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NC DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES DENR requires Duke Energy to address coal ash issues RALEIGH – As part of implementing Governor Pat McCrory’s recent executive order on coal ash, state officials are requiring that Duke Energy provide plans for excavating inactive coal ash storage ponds at four of its facilities. Four letters […]

Renovations continue at Ben's Penny Mart. Photo courtesy of Ben's Tune-Up

Ben’s Tune-Up brings new convenience store to South Slope

“Everybody needs sodas and cigarettes and snacks,” says Ben’s Tune-Up co-owner Meg Alt. Now, individuals who work and play downtown have an expedient means to get these items. Ben’s Penny Mart, Asheville’s newest convenience store and hangout, is scheduled to open on Friday, Aug. 15, at 195 Hilliard Ave. adjacent to Hi-Wire Brewing. The hours […]

A $20 pledge earns donors one Thru Hike game. Photo courtesy of Thru Hike's Facebook page

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. THRU HIKE: THE APPALCHIAN TRAIL […]

Pain and promise in the Citizen-Times ‘newsroom of the future’

This week, national and local journalists took a closer look at Aug. 6 news that media company Gannett — owner of the Asheville Citizen-Times — is restructuring for what it is calling the “newsroom of the future.” At the company’s Asheville publication, the changes mean that about a half-dozen staffers will likely lose their jobs, while […]

GET FIRED UP: Darren Stephens' patent-pending wood-fired oven cooks a 20-inch pizza in just 90 seconds.

Amazing Pizza Co. rolls out mobile franchise plan

Western North Carolina’s (and the nation’s) mobile food trend continues to roll along: Darren Stephens of Mills River believes he may have found a new market niche with mobile pizza kitchens. Nearly two years of research and development and about $60,000 pumped into the Asheville-area economy have yielded a compact, wood-fired oven that cranks out […]

Tiger Mountain renovations continue. Owner Sean Bickford hopes to open to the public by next Friday, Aug. 15. Photo by Kat McReynolds

Moving mountains: Tiger Mountain circles the block

Tiger Mountain, a popular Asheville locals’ bar, has closed the doors to its 103 Broadway location and will open just around the corner at 112 N. Lexington Ave. (formerly Emerald Lounge). Owner Sean Bickford is optimistic that the new location will be open to the public by next Friday, Aug. 15. One of Bickford’s primary goals […]

CAMPING OUT: Festival-goers line up at brewers' tents in advance of the 1 p.m. start time for sampling. Photo by Thom O'Hearn

Disney World for beer lovers: Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America event

Sierra Nevada is famous for its high quality and consistency. Over decades the company has established a legendary reputation by thinking ahead and troubleshooting any potential problem in advance. The brewers are masters of controlling every variable. So perhaps it’s no surprise that when the company put on one of the largest beer festivals ever […]

Commissioner candidates split over teacher pay

“It is the responsibility of the Legislature to fund teacher pay,” District 2 incumbent Democrat Ellen Frost declared at the July 30 Council of Independent Business Owners candidate forum. But though most school funding comes from the state, the county does provide a supplement each year, usually about 20 percent of total school funding. In […]

Preview: Buncombe commissioners meet Tuesday, Aug. 5

A month after contentiously approving the 2015 budget, the Buncombe Board of Commissioners’ Tuesday, Aug. 5, meeting is shaping up to resemble nothing if not a game of Monopoly. Most of the new business before the board concerns various ins-and-outs of real estate. First, commissioners will be considering three rezoning requests. Two of these are […]

Details: The public hearing on fracking in WNC

Concerned or excited about the prospect of increased oil and gas development in Western North Carolina? The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission has scheduled a public hearing for Sept. 12 in Cullowhee and welcomes your feedback on proposed rules that could help pave the way for hydraulic fracturing – also known as ‘fracking’ – […]