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Buncombe County to work on budget, hear nonprofit funding presentati­ons

It’s that time of year again: budget season. One of the biggest decisions the Buncombe County Commissioners face this time of year is how to distribute funding to area nonprofits through the community development grant program. This year, 48 nonprofits will request nearly $7.2 million in funding from Buncombe County — up from the $4.2 million requested […]

ECHOES FROM THE PAST: As part of North Carolina's proposed Civil War History Center, projected to be completed by 2020 in Fayetteville, story collectors are traversing the state in search of families' oral traditions from the Civil War years. Image via N.C. Civil War History Center.

Confrontin­g history: “Our State, Our Stories” initiative calls for Civil War family narratives

In an effort to record the varied Civil War experiences passed down through N.C. familes, regional historians across the state are collecting narratives as part of the “Our State, Our Stories” Initiative. The stories gathered will be included in a new, state of the art North Carolina Civil War History Center in Fayetteville, scheduled to be completed by 2020.

Reba Miller Bowser and her son, Ed Bowser, celebrate filling out Mrs. Bowser's North Carolina voter registration form on Feb. 6. Photo used with permission from Ed Bowser

86-year-old voter turned down by DMV to get photo ID Friday

86-year-old Reba Miller Bowser went to the Patton Avenue DMV office on Monday to get a photo ID so that she could vote in North Carolina’s March 15 primary. Though she had all the documents listed on the DMV’s list of required identification, the lifelong voter nonetheless left empty-handed. State DMV officials now say Bowser should not have been turned down, and have arranged for a mobile unit to visit her home on Friday.

A PERSONAL TOUCH: Local businesses around Asheville, such as Dancing Bear Toys (above), play an indispensible role in driving the area’s economy and lending the city its unique ambiance. Through a combination of hands on ingenuity, creative approaches and a strong sense of community, Asheville’s specialty shops and boutiques are a testament to the viability of independent, locally-owned businesses in a world of big box chains and internet megastores. Photo by Max Hunt.

Local businesses drive Asheville vibe

Walk any downtown Asheville street and you’re likely to encounter some quirky storefronts offering unusual products. Together, these “specialty shops” or boutiques, most of them locally owned businesses, are a key component of the city’s distinctive flavor, attracting thousands of tourists each year and helping fuel the economy.

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Asheville inches closer to police body camera rollout

The Asheville Police Department trails the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office in rolling out police body cameras — but the city is trying to catch up. Police Chief Tammy Hooper outlined a draft policy for the cameras at a recent panel discussion, and says the first cameras will be deployed by summer. We look into what needs to happen between now and then to make that schedule happen.

FOR THE LOVE OF BIKES: Asheville on Bikes' ninth annual Bike Love  event  Saturday will raise money for the nonprofit advocacy organization to work on bike-friendly policy changes. Above, a moment from last year's event. Photo by Pat Barcas

Asheville on Bikes rolls out Bike Love 2016

Who knew that heartbreak could be so good for the local cycling scene? Back in 2005, bike advocacy helped Mike Sule distract himself from the heartache of a tough breakup. Since then, however, Asheville on Bikes, the organization he subsequently founded, has become a well-known advocate on both local and state-level transportation issues. In support […]

The people have spoken, and they want a significant public space facing the Basilica of St. Lawrence and the U.S. Cellular Center. A City Council committee considers the way forward. Photo by Virginia Daffron

What’s next for Haywood Street site?

One clear winner from the 2015 City Council elections: local hopes for a public space for the city-owned lots facing the Basilica of St. Lawrence and the U.S. Cellular Center. Not so clear: exactly what kind of space Asheville needs and who will pay for it. The city’s Planning and Economic Development committee took up the hot potato issue to try to figure out how to move forward.

Leadership Asheville hosted a capacity crowd at its panel discussion on WNC's future energy needs on Feb. 3.

Reducing peak energy demand key to size of future Duke plant

Peak energy demand will determine the capacity of Duke Energy’s planned upgrades at the company’s Lake Julian power plant, according to speakers at a panel discussion on WNC’s future energy needs on Feb. 3. Speakers stressed the importance of partnerships between Duke Energy, local government and community partners to reduce demand and delay or eliminate a third new natural gas-fired generation unit planned for the Lake Julian site.