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    NC, Asheville air quality to get a boost from Volkswagen scandal settlement

    A $15B settlement has been reached after Volkswagen admitted to rigging 11 million vehicles worldwide with software to dodge emissions standards. ASHEVILLE – A wave of new electric car charging stations could soon be sweeping the mountains, along with, cleaner-running school buses, city buses and garbage trucks and overall sweeter-smelling air in the wake of a national, multibillion-dollar air quality violation settlement with Volkswagen. The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality will hold public meetings on the just-released Draft State Mitigation Plan. The plan outlines proposals for investing the first phase of North Carolina’s $92 million share of a national settlement with Volkswagen in projects aimed at reducing pollution impacts from…

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    NC Beer Month Expands With New Breweries, Experiences

    RALEIGH, N.C., March 2018 – North Carolina breweries and destinations that love beer will roll out the barrels and the red carpet in April for the sixth annual NC Beer Month, a celebration full of festivals, Untappd badges, lodging packages, prizes and experiences that show why North Carolina is the "state of Southern beer." "Our craft beer reflects the character of the place where it’s made," said Wit Tuttell, executive director of Visit North Carolina, which co-sponsors the celebration with the North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild. "It connects to our farms, our rivers and our history with its local flavors, our brewers’ passion, and even the names of breweries and…

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    NC Utilities Commission approves part of Duke’s rate hike. Here’s how you’ll pay for it.

    If for the one month you unplugged every appliance and electronic, unscrewed every light bulb, and forsook heat or air conditioning — living by candlelight, blankets or paper fans, and Sterno — you would still get an electric bill. You’ve used no power, but would have to pay Duke Energy Progress a $14 “basic charge” — the cost of maintaining the line, meter and other infrastructure to get electricity to your home. That price used to be $11, but late Friday, the NC Utilities Commission approved an overall rate increase for DEP customers, including a 26 percent hike in the basic charge to $14. The 278-page ruling was released shortly…

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    GE Aviation to invest $105 million in Asheville operations

    Press release from Economic Development Coalition for Asheville – Buncombe County: Asheville, NC (March 1, 2018) – In conjunction the Buncombe County Commission, City Council of Asheville and the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County (EDC), GE Aviation announced plans to invest $105 million in its Asheville operations. The investments in new technology, machinery, and equipment will require the addition of 131 new positions to its current workforce of 425. The new positions will pay, on average, nearly 30% above the Buncombe County average wage. In 2013, the company announced a statewide expansion that invested $126 million in new, state-of-the-art, production facilities in Sweeten Creek Industrial Park. The Asheville plant…

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    Jim Hitt Shares Self-Directed IRA Retirement Tips Investors Need to Hear

    More Related Stories The difference between what investors want to hear and what they need to hear is often vast. But Jim Hitt-the CEO of American IRA in Asheville, NC-recently took to the American IRA blog to explain those tips that investors need to hear to maximize the value of their nest egg when retirement age approaches. Writing for http://www.AmericanIRA.com, Jim Hitt argues multiple factors will be critical for the success of investors in retirement planning. The first of these tips is in what Jim Hitt calls �true diversification”-which is diversification across asset classes. While much of the traditional advice tells investors to focus on a broad swath of stocks…

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    City Council prioritizes equity, environment, economy at annual retreat

    COME TOGETHER: Asheville City Council members and city staff attend the annual Council retreat, held Feb. 15-16 at The Collider downtown. Photo by Carolyn Morrisroe With two newly elected members and an evolving political landscape, Asheville City Council’s annual retreat at The Collider Feb. 15-16 reflected a shifting mindset about what issues the city should tackle in the coming years. The stated purpose of the retreat is: “To enhance the ability of the Asheville City Council to work together and make effective policy decisions through team building, a review and renewal of its vision and three-year priorities, and a discussion of governance roles.” Before diving into discussion of the city’s…

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    Lots of paid holidays at NC community colleges; state likely to crack down

    Buy Photo ASHEVILLE – Groundhog Day was not a paid holiday at community colleges in Western North Carolina. But several did let employees take off the day after Thanksgiving with pay, or one or two days around Easter, a week around Christmas and New Year’s Day plus Veterans’ Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. The number of paid holidays allowed community college workers in the mountains and around the state has grown so large — up to 23 a year at one school — that state government is preparing to cap it at 12 following a recent state report. According to the report…

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    Human remains found by cyclist in NC mountain town

    Police at the scene of the discovery of human remains on Saturday night. WSPA photo ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WSPA/AP) – Police say human remains were found by a bypasser just off Hill Street in Asheville Saturday. According to police, the remains were found by a bicyclist down an embankment at the scene. The remains were discovered on private property near Isaac Dickson Elementary School. Police say it’s too soon to know the age or gender of the remains found late Saturday. Police Lt. Chuck Sams tells The Citizen-Times of Asheville that investigators are trying to determine how long the body had been there and the state of decomposition. The investigation is…

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    Visiting Our Past: Vanderbilt among families with toes in Bent Creek

    (Photo: unknown) The pop-up village of Glencoe marked the middle point in Bent Creek history between its first 70 years as a self-sufficient community and its current status as a U.S. experimental forest. In 1866, Col. Hatch established Glencoe, an Episcopal mission named after a Celtic hero’s homeland, on Wilson Boyd’s huge tract where Lake Powhatan is now. The village lasted 21 years. In 1887, Hatch and his family relocated to Asheville, nearer to Ravenscroft, the mission’s headquarters. Glencoe’s mill, workshop, factory, school and church were abandoned. Remaining Bent Creek families tapped the new lumber market, if they wished. Residents also sought to preserve the forest and its herbs, mast…

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    Teams Compete in National Financial Plan Competition Semi-Finals

    More Related Stories The Semi-Finalist teams scheduled to explain their financial plans this year include: The National Financial Plan Competition is organized through the IARFC for undergraduate students in a financial services curriculum. Initially, participants were given a fictional case study of a family with an overview of their financial picture. From that, teams were asked to produce a financial plan with recommendations for current and future action. Completed plans were then sent to the IARFC headquarters where the top scored six teams advanced to the next level. Victoria Albanese from Bryant University in Smithfield, RI � Mara Derderian Professor; Bonnie Dang and Ashley Nobel from California State University Northridge…