Room occupancy taxes, paid by overnight visitors to the county, will go up from 4 to 6 percent. Photo by Margaret Williams

Buncombe Commission­ers approve hotel tax increase

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved an increase in room occupancy tax increase for visitors to the area at its Tuesday, Sept. 1 meeting.

The increase, from 4 to 6 percent, applies only to those paying for rooms in county hotels and does not affect residents. This rate coincides with rates currently implemented in 31 other North Carolina counties, including Durham and Catawba.

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Buncombe Commission­ers to vote on tourism tax, parkway protection

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners’ Sept. 1 meeting seems to cover all of the bases, from taxes to zoning to county services and a possible Vietnam memorial wall. The meeting will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 1, in the Commissioner Chambers on the third floor of the county building at 200 College St.

DENR says Duke Energy seeks to avoid public input on coal ash clean up

FROM DENR: RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) filed briefs [on Aug. 12] that would hold Duke Energy accountable for the cleanup of its 14 coal ash facilities throughout North Carolina and protect the public’s right to provide its input. The filings oppose Duke Energy and the Southern Environmental Law Center’s […]

American-made outdoor gear store launches locally

From Wild American Gear: ASHEVILLE, NC, Aug. 24, 2015 – Stevin Westcott, former spokesman for the four national forests in North Carolina, today unveiled a new online store that features only American made outdoor recreation products. WILD AMERICAN GEAR TM , found online at www.wildamericangear.com, offers quality clothing and gear for hikers, bikers, joggers, anglers, […]

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APD: Assistance requested in locating shooting suspects

From Asheville Police Department: Asheville – The Asheville Police Department requests assistance in locating four suspects involved in the Wednesday, August 12th shooting that occurred on Camby Street and Biltmore Avenue. Demarcus Alston, D’Angelo McCrorey and Trevon Stone have arrests warrants for: Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill Discharge Firearm into Occupied Dwelling/Vehicle Discharge Firearm […]

Cecil Bothwell announces his candidacy for Buncombe County Commission

From Cecil Bothwell: Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell today announced his candidacy for the Buncombe County Commission, District 1. Bothwell is in his second term on City Council. “I intend to bring the same environmental awareness and civic concern to service on our County Commission that I have delivered for my constituents for the past […]

Planned Parenthood protest planned for Aug. 22

From Life Advocates: Asheville, North Carolina, August 12, 2015 — In response to recent admissions by Planned Parenthood officials about its practice of harvesting and selling aborted baby parts, Life Advocates and concerned citizens of Asheville are protesting at the Planned Parenthood facility, 68 McDowell St, Asheville, NC on Saturday, August 22, from 8:30 a.m. […]

Creative commons photo by Travis Wise

Buncombe County to pay more than $7 million settlement fee for wrongful conviction­s

After a crowded and lengthy Tuesday, Aug. 4 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners went into closed session to discuss three legal issues and two economic development issues.

And after 30 minutes of private discussion, the commissioners rejoined the then-sparse audience to announce the county must pay more than $7 million in settlement fees to five men who were wrongfully convicted under former Sheriff Bobby Medford’s watch and had served six to 11 years behind bars.