According to a presentation available before Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, Nov. 5, 67 lodging businesses have been delinquent in reporting or remitting occupancy taxes due March through September, with an additional 29 establishments yet to report at least one month of taxes during that period.
Three years out from the closure of the state’s only USDA-inspected plant for independent farmers, more than 200 North Carolina farms are processing their own poultry. But due to the extra labor and time requirements, many producers statewide are still putting less pastured poultry on the market now than they were in 2017.
“We are showing women how to see their land as an asset and how to make it work economically and to see that future,” explains Aimee Tomcho, a Burnsville-based conservation biologist for the National Audubon Society and leader of Western North Carolina’s ForestHer chapter.
A look at the online rosters of agents at the largest real estate firms in Buncombe County suggests that women make up a majority of brokers here also, although many top-level jobs are still held by men.
Marla Tambellini, Explore Asheville’s vice president of marketing, shared an industry consultant’s view that “recovery is inevitable” during the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority’s annual meeting on Oct. 20.
Asheville native Kalesha Ruth returns to the mountains to start her own used car dealership specializing in low down payments. To her knowledge, she’s the first Black women to own a car dealership in Western North Carolina.
The news stunned Asheville and Western North Carolina, where Mission Health System Inc. was the area’s largest employer, its main healthcare provider, and a long-time source of civic pride. Seemingly out of the blue, Mission’s directors publicly announced on March 21, 2018, that they had voted to sell the 133-year-old nonprofit to HCA Healthcare.
Black Folks Camp Too founder Earl B. Hunter Jr. said new marketing collaborations would help him develop more interest in camping among the Black community. And later this month, Asheville-based artist Matthew Willey will begin work on a giant mural of honey bees at Hendersonville’s Hands On! Children’s Museum.
Union leaders expect a struggle with HCA but say Asheville nurses are “ready to engage in that struggle.”
Labor scholar Bruce Nissen warns that HCA is signaling “not accepting the results.” But he predicts the hospital company can’t succeed after a landslide union win.
Board member Rick Livingston, who made the motion to deny the recommendation, said the proposed SE Asphalt plant’s location in a “very residential area” off the Spartanburg Highway was incompatible with both the county’s comprehensive plan and East Flat Rock’s community plan.
Despite high unemployment and ongoing uncertainties related to the pandemic, Asheville’s real estate market is booming. Local agents and lenders say a majority of their new clients are leaving densely populated cities as they seek lower housing costs and greater insulation from COVID-19.
“Folks are really starting to get weary of the pattern of hurricanes and extreme weather and are looking for more stable environments such as Western North Carolina,” says local real estate agent John Haynes, about clients seeking to move to the region from coastal states like Florida, New Jersey and Texas.
President Donald Trump, accompanied by his daughter, Ivanka, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, toured Flavor 1st Growers and Packers in Mills River on Aug. 24 to see firsthand how local farmers are working to feed individuals in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April, Pardee UNC Health Care notified MountainCare that it would no longer donate the use of the 6,000-square-foot building that houses MountainCare’s Henderson County adult day program. MountainCare now must move out by the end of the year to allow Pardee to reuse or sell the building and seeks a free or low-cost space where the program can continue operating.
Nearly 1,050 households have received over $453,000 in emergency assistance from the fund for necessities such as housing, utilities and transportation. And roughly $853,000 has been loaned to 92 area businesses to help them weather the coronavirus’s economic impacts, contributing to the retention of 674 jobs.
Interventions by ‘strike teams’ help manage outbreaks at nursing homes; COVID-19 cases mount at Mission Health; St. Luke’s hastens test results through a partnership.
Roughly 10 small processors are available for all of North Carolina’s local livestock farmers. With higher overall demand due to COVID-19 and commodity beef producers leaning on the local supply chain in their transition to direct-market sales, some farmers can’t get meat processed until the spring of 2021.
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Principal Chief Richard Sneed, whose tribe owns two casinos in Western North Carolina, had lobbied the board to oppose the rival operation at an Aug. 4 briefing. He argued that the Catawba Indian Nation, members of which primarily reside in South Carolina, were not properly authorized to operate gaming across state lines.
Some kids have faced social isolation during the pandemic with schools closing and being unable to see their friends. Some youth camps opened their doors in the summer so kids could engage with peers and learn instead of having their eyes glued to a screen.
Jennifer Pharr Davis, owner of Asheville-based Blue Ridge Hiking Company, says there’s a simple reason behind the pent-up demand for outdoor recreation: In a world where many activities are either unsafe or unavailable, going for a hike is very appealing.