Advanced manufacturing

Biz Briefs: State of Our Workforce results anticipate local hiring boom

Nearly 67 percent of surveyed businesses expected to grow their workforce over the next three years, representing up to 26,700 new jobs for the region. The manufacturing and hospitality industries anticipated the largest hiring booms — up to 7,556 and 6,618 jobs, respectively — but all sectors planned for at least some expansion.

Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center empty

Thin crowd weighs in on police chief selection

“I’m shocked, and I’m disappointed,” said one commenter who identified himself as a Southside resident about the lack of attendance from his community. “If you’re not going to show up and voice your opinion, and then when something does happen, you get in a little group and then you voice your opinion, that’s not fair. That’s not right.”

Robin Currin sworn in as Asheville City Attorney by Mayor Esther Manheimer

City OKs extra funds for outside attorneys as legal limbo continues

At Asheville City Council’s Jan. 22 meeting, Mayor Esther Manheimer said the city would re-advertise its vacant city attorney position — after she and her colleagues unanimously approved an additional $300,000 for outside legal services. The role has been filled on an interim basis by Sabrina Rockoff since the departure of Robin Currin in September.

Debra Campbell at the Council of Independent Business Owners

Campbell lays out Asheville to-dos at her first CIBO breakfast

Since leaving her previous role as Charlotte’s assistant city manager to take the Asheville job in December, Campbell said, she has focused on meeting as many community stakeholders as possible. Those discussions, she explained, have led to a slate of priorities with the common theme of making the city “the best partner that we can be.”

Hellbender on a rock

Endangered Species Act changes could hinder hellbender conservati­on

Conservationists have been attempting to list the species under the federal Endangered Species Act since 2010, but as Elise Bennett with the Center for Biological Diversity explains, regulatory changes to the act proposed by the administration of President Donald Trump could hamper the path to protection for hellbenders and other at-risk wildlife.

White irisette

Polk County hosts nationally significan­t species diversity

“The vagaries of climate and geology and time and the dispersal mechanisms of plants and animals too — all of those things, just over vast eons of time, have given Polk County this sweet spot,” says botanist David Campbell. His inventory of the county lists 32 significant natural heritage areas, as well as 127 rare or watch-list plant species found at those sites.

Josh Stein and community health advocates

Attorney general approves ‘rearticulated’ Mission-HCA deal

Josh Stein announced that his office had developed a new agreement after months of “extensive negotiations” involving Mission, HCA and the Dogwood Health Trust. He explained that the changes would strengthen HCA’s community commitments, make the DHT board more representative of its service area and ensure greater accountability for both organizations.

Rep. Brian Turner at Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon

Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce pivots agenda at legislativ­e luncheon

The document, set by the chamber’s advocacy and policy committee, adds opioid and substance abuse prevention to the docket for the first time. Affordable housing and expanded transit options throughout the Asheville metro region also made the cut, while Medicaid restructuring and the Interstate 26 Connector Project were both removed from last year’s list.

Riverwoods site graphic

Despite ‘physical anxiety,’ Council approves 416-unit South Asheville subdivisio­n

“When I say I literally have physical anxiety about supporting this project, that is real and true,” said Council member Keith Young, citing his concerns over a lack of affordable housing in the Riverwoods development. “A part of me really feels like I’m letting folks down by approving this project.”

Chris Day and Phillip Woollcott

Technical Review Committee delays approval of Flatiron hotel plans

Citing unresolved questions about parking and a planned bike lane for Battery Park Avenue, the TRC continued its review until more information is available. The proposed 80-room hotel will likely come before the board again on Monday, Feb. 4, then face a hearing at the Downtown Commission on Friday, Feb. 8, followed by the Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday, March 6.

Bryan Robinson

Local author shares mindfulnes­s strategies in new book

Bryan Robinson, a licensed psychotherapist and professor emeritus at UNC Charlotte, wrote #Chill to leverage his expertise on work addiction for a broader audience. “[The book is] not just for workaholics by any means; it’s [about] how all of us can chill, take the time to take care of ourselves and pay attention to the knee-jerk reactions that we make,” he says.

Construction at Duke Energy's Lake Julian facility

2018 in review: 7 Asheville-area climate stories

Twelve years: That’s how long humanity has left to hold global warming below the key level of 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to an October report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In light of that sobering reality, these developments from 2018 had the biggest potential impact on Asheville’s contribution to climate change.