N.C. Senate bill may dissolve AdvantageW­est, Citizen-Times reports

Part of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s plans to turn the Department of Commerce into a public-private partnership that would be run like a business, Senate Bill 127 would mandate the dissolution of regional organizations like AdvantageWest and strip it of state funding. It passed a second reading in the Senate Monday night, May 13, by a 31-17 vote.a

Citizens organize to fight power-plant proposal in Transylvan­ia County

“Transylvania County could become home to a bio/renewable diesel fuel plant, the first of its kind in Western North Carolina,” the Hendersonville Times-News reported on April 3. Local residents have organized a campaign to fight the proposal, noting that a facility that generates power by burning MSW (municipal solid waste) could turn mar an otherwise pristine valley near Brevard, possibly diminish air and water quality and bring unwanted industrial traffic to the valley.

Stunning sunset: Another day in Western North Carolina’s winter weather

Timing is everything, especially when weather conditions change as quickly as they do in the mountains. Tuesday morning, Feb. 19, brought huge fluffy snowflakes to the higher elevations, quickly adding up to a couple of inches of snow. The whiplash of a day ended with a stunning sunset that was enhanced by concentric halos around the setting sun.

Got broadband? If not, local nonprofit MAIN wants you to map it-attachment0

Got broadband? If not, local nonprofit MAIN wants you to map it

Although broadband or high-speed Internet access is fairly common in Asheville, many Western North Carolinians can’t get it if they wanted to, largely because the infrastructure doesn’t exist. Thanks to a grant, MAIN has a mapping tool that could help get access to the nearly 48,000 WNC residents who are missing out on the digital revolution.

Ice, then fire. Be prepared for the clash of the Titans (and a High Wind Warning)

Last week’s ice-and-sleet storm left a mess in several counties across Western North Carolina. The complex temperature structure in the atmosphere resulted in a thick coating of ice in some areas, but produced just rain in others. Now, after several days of spring-like temperatures, spring-like thunderstorms will impact the region on Wednesday, Jan. 30. A High Wind Warning has been issued by the NWS.

What will 2013 bring?

Weather conditions in our region so far this year have been described as “mild” — with average temperatures at Asheville Regional Airport running slightly above normal for all but three days since the start of the New Year. And, while it’s hard to find too many folks who complain about mild temperatures in January, it does force the question: How will the weather of 2013 compare to that of 2012?

Small-business snapshot

Four years after the economic collapse we’ve dubbed the Great Recession, how is the Western North Carolina economy doing? Mountain BizWorks checked in with some local Chamber of Commerce directors to get their big-picture take on the past year and their predictions for 2013.