The Duke Energy power plant near Asheville (photo by Southwings)

Coal-ash legislation heads toward compromise, Carolina Public Press reports

What to do about coal ash, the toxic byproduct of burning coal to produce electricity? The North Carolina Senate and House have dueling views on what should be done, and environmentalists say neither approach does enough to clean up existing coal-ash impoundments and prevent spills like the one that released tens of thousands of gallons into the Dan River this February.

Preview: Asheville Council weighs budget, rezonings on June 24

On Tuesday, June 24, Asheville City Council will vote on the annual budget, which holds the property tax rate steady and pumps millions into capital improvements such as sidewalks on Hendersonville Road, greenways at Town Branch and Clingman and a roundabout at Five Points. According to the agenda, Council will also review a rezoning request that […]

Duke Energy's Asheville power plant (photo courtesy of Southwings)

N.C. officials order Duke Energy to address piping systems at coal-ash plants

No leaks have been discovered at Duke Energy’s Asheville plant, which runs on coal — like the one on the Dan River where a broken pipe released thousands of gallons of coal ash. But the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources has ordered the company to provide its engineer’s assessment, saying that “portions of […]

Former Asheville evidence room manager gets 10 months jail time

On June 17, former Asheville Police Department evidence-room manager William “Lee” Smith got 10 months jail time for embezzling government property. Local media outlets, including Xpress, had sued for release of an evidence-room audit tied to the case but withheld by Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore. That report will be released on Thursday, June […]

The CTS site was added to the Superfund inventory in 2012 but has been under investigation for decades. (file photo)

EPA evacuates three families near CTS superfund site in South Asheville

WLOS reported earlier tonight, June 6, that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state officials evacuated three families who live near the CTS superfund site on Mills Gap Road in South Asheville. A few weeks ago, local citizens groups and EPA officials announced that a “significant amount of trichloroethylene (TCE) is dissolved in a mass […]


Asheville Council’s budget proposal maintains tax rate

Asheville’s proposed 2014-2015 operating budget maintains the property tax rate, according to documents in City Council’s agenda packet for the Tuesday, June 10, meeting. Council will review the budget and take public comment on the proposed $147.5 million proposal, which includes a 3 percent pay increase across the board for city employees but keeps the tax rate at 46 […]

Xpress labor dispute resolved

Mountain Xpress has resolved a labor dispute with the National Labor Relations Board. After the Communications Workers of America filed charges during the last six months, the NLRB had brought several unfair labor practice complaints against the paper. The complaints, which were resolved last week, involved the separation of employment of Max Cooper and David […]


Early voting starts Thursday, April 24, for Buncombe primaries

Early voting starts across in Buncombe County on Thursday, April 24. Some key local races are for Buncombe County commissioners (see below), the district attorney (Ron Moore vs. challenger Todd Williams) and district judge. In the races for commissioners, District 3 incumbent David King faces challenger Miranda Debruhl; District 2 incumbent Ellen Frost faces former […]

We’re so happy: Asheville ranks high in HuffPo happiness meter

Never mind that we’ve experienced the wettest July on record (and really, it’s got to be the wettest year ever). And never mind that the lower half of the Southeast gets dubbed “the sadness belt,” due to high unemployment and poverty, and a few other matters. In Asheville, we’re happy. At least, that’s what the Huffington Post says.