PROUD MOMENT: Newly elected member of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Miranda DeBruhl is sworn in with her family present on Dec. 1. (Photo by Pat Barcas)

Buncombe commissioners swear in DeBruhl and name Belcher vice chair

New and smiling faces populated the crowd at the Buncombe County Commissioners meeting on Dec. 1, as four winners of the Nov. 4 elections took their oaths of office and commissioners elected a new vice chair. Buncombe County Commissioners Ellen Frost, Miranda Debruhl, and Brownie Newman — and re-elected Sheriff Van Duncan —  stood with their families […]

Board of Commissioners Chairman David Gantt presents departing Commissioner David King with an award for his service on the board.

County approves economic incentives, King bids farewell

Counting on a longterm return and benefit to the area, Buncombe County commissioners approved two economic incentive packages today, Nov. 18, in exchange for the creation of new jobs and millions of dollars of investment in the county economy. Commissioners unanimously approved a $9 million economic incentive for gear maker Linamar North Carolina Inc., to […]

""Homelessness is really an issue that crosses all political definitions," said Kelly King Horne, a panelist at a recent Asheville forum on the issue. (photo by Cameron Huntley)

Asheville forum focuses on housing, income shortfalls and change

Leigh Snyder teared up several times as she spoke to well over 100 people who had gathered for a forum on family homelessness in downtown Asheville on Nov. 6. The event, sponsored by Homeward Bound of Asheville, brought together activists, volunteers, community leaders, business owners and local politicians — enough to easily fill the Celine and Company Catering’s large banquet hall at 49 Broadway.

The jury-trial ballot amendment approved by North Carolina voters on Nov. 4 "gives defendants another means of disposing their cases,” says Buncombe County's newly elected District Attorney, Todd Williams. (Photo by Jesse Farthing)

What was N.C.’s jury-trial ballot amendment about?

North Carolina voters did more than move representatives around Nov. 4: They voted on an amendment to the state constitution that could possibly have major repercussions for criminal justice procedure. But what does that amendment do? Fifty-three percent of N.C. voters approved the amendment, which, if adopted by legislators, would enable “a person accused of any […]

Later today: Commissioners deliberate on funding for YMCA, Mountain Mobility

County commissioners will convene today, Oct. 21, to consider two financial decisions related to county and city institutions. The first concerns the Buncombe County Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Western North Carolina, which is seeking financial assistance for various upgrades and improvement projects, by way of Wisconsin: The organization is seeking the proceeds of […]

ONE FOR THE TEAM: In addition to voting to approve new "innovation" districts, Asheville Council members honored the winning team — the local minor-league Tourists baseball team, which who won the 2014 South Atlantic League Championship. Tourists owner Brian DeWine, right of Mayor Esther Manheimer, posed with Council. (photo by Cameron Huntley)

Council approves new innovation districts

Today, Oct. 14, Asheville City Council approved the creation of three municipal service districts (MSD) as a way to finance redevelopment and infrastructural improvements. The three MSDs — what city officials are calling “innovation districts” — will be in the River Arts District, the South Slope Extension and Charlotte Street Corridor. “The areas that have been selected have the opportunity […]

Holding on: Local child services weather funding cuts

Every nonprofit director has a horror story about the perils of relying on outside funding. “It’s a house of cards,” says Jim Barrett, executive director of Pisgah Legal Services. “Stressful,” says John Lauterbach, executive director of Caring for Children. “It’s competitive every year.” “I’ve done WIC for 28 years now,” adds Georganna Cogburn, nutrition program […]

Council preview: Innovation districts, Greymont Village continuation on Oct. 14 agenda

Asheville City Council will convene Tuesday, Oct. 14, to discuss the “innovation districts” mentioned by Mayor Esther Manheimer in her Sept. 30 State of the City address, as well  as attempt to settle a proposed rezoning on Sardis Road that Council members punted from their Sept. 4 meeting. Council also held an information session on innovation districts […]

Asheville City Council, Sept. 23, 2014. (Photo by Cindy Kunst)

Bothwell questions APD surveillance; Council approves 56 S. Lexington incentive

Asheville Council members extended a graffiti-cleanup initiative and approved $250,000 to fund burying power cables for a residential/commercial project on S. Lexington Avenue. Council member Cecil Bothwell was the lone “nay” vote on both items and also said he was “totally ticked” about the Police Department’s filming of protests and protesters.

Stephanie Swepson-Twitty in the Sewing Department of Eagle Market Street Block-by-Block Industries

MED Week update: Social and economic improvement, one block at a time

Stephanie Swepson-Twitty, president and CEO of Eagle Market Street Development Corporation, was a 30-year veteran of “banking, finance and retail” when she switched gears and went to work for the nonprofit she now directs as an AmeriCorps intern. “I served them two years as an intern,” she said. “And then one thing led to another, […]

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Council, developer butt heads over rent rates in rezoning proposal

Contention sprung from unexpected corners at the Asheville City Council meeting on Sept. 9, as Council members and a land developer stared each other down on rental rates and safety commitments for a proposed residential development on Sardis Road. Complicating the debate was the fact that about half the development falls within the city limits. The applicant — Winston-Salem Industries […]