LET US SWIM, LET US SWIM: Goggled swimmers and their parents flowed into the Buncombe commissioners' chambers Feb. 3.  “We know because we swim [at the Zeugner Center] everyday. It needs to be shut down, but not before we have another place to swim,” said Camille Long, a sophomore at T.C. Roberson High School.

From goggles to land conservati­on, Buncombe commission­ers get an earful

The public-comment stretched nearly three hours at the Feb. 3 Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting, as a tsunami of local residents expressed their displeasure with two recent and highly controversial county decisions — the planned closure of the county’s only indoor aquatic center, Zeugner, and the equestrian revisions to the animal-control ordinance. Citizens — including goggled […]

Buncombe commissioners voted 6-1 in favor of a $48.5 million expansion of the county's Department of Health and Human Services facility. (Photo by Jake Frankel)

Commission­ers approve animal ordinance, new human services facility

Buncombe commissioners don’t often hold marathon sessions, but on Jan. 20, their agenda started at 8:30 a.m. and took all day: By the end, they had waded through an overview of several county departments, heard preliminary funding requests from local nonprofits, taken a second vote on the changes to the Animal Control Ordinance, directed staff to look for inexpensive […]

JOB SEEKERS: BY one measure, unemployment is down in North Carolina, and Asheville's got one of the lowest rates in the state (4.1 percent). But if count those who've dropped out of the market or are underemployed, the statewide rate is higher than 12 percent. Photo by Bill Rhodes

Job statistics don’t tell the whole story for local economy

On Nov. 21, Gov. Pat McCrory’s office released a statement saying that all of the jobs North Carolina lost during the Great Recession — some 62,000 positions — had been gained back. Not long after, local unemployment numbers started coming in, showing that Asheville had the lowest unemployment numbers among the North Carolina metro areas at […]

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 […]