WNC’s Homeward Bound gets $2.7 million grant to help veterans

PRESS RELEASE Homeward Bound of Western NC gets $2.7 million grant to help Vets CHARLES GEORGE VA MEDICAL CENTER, Asheville, N.C. – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald recently announced the award of $207 million in Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grants that will help homeless Veterans and their families, and one of […]

Office Manager Patty Levesque has worked for Xpress for 20 years (pictured here, 1st row, far right).

Twenty years, day in and day out

Having worked at Mountain Xpress for 20 years, I have seen many changes — in staff, in technology, in delegation of duties and, of course, in the growth of the paper. Back when I started in 1994, Xpress had only a dozen employees or so, and not all were full-time. Jeff Fobes, our publisher, oversaw […]

How citizen-based reporting got the news

In the early ’90s, more than 20 people filed for the Asheville City Council primary election. Instead of Mountain Xpress reporters interviewing the candidates, the paper asked for community volunteers to help. A group of volunteers met with Julian Price in an upstairs room on Page Avenue. We were given a set of questions to […]

Vol. 1, Issue 1 (Mountain Xpress, Aug. 10, 1994)

Chasing crack rabbits

Grace Slick sang, “One pill makes you larger, the other makes you small. And the ones that mother gives you don’t do anything at all,” on Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” cementing the figurative connection between Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the ’60s drug culture. Perhaps that’s why an educational anti-drug video, produced 20 […]

Tapping into the local debate

In the days before commenting on websites, Facebook and other social-media platforms, Mountain Xpress got readers talking each week. Every issue featured two, three and sometimes four commentaries, often from wildly different worldviews. The Aug. 31, 1994, Xpress featured four, including the first “Gospel According to Jerry [Sternberg].” Readers reacted strongly to Sternberg’s support for […]

The day Hazel Fobes showed me up

When I look back at the early ’90s, I can remember a lot of issues that everyone worked on. Specifically, though, when I think about Green Line and then the Mountain Xpress, I am reminded of publisher Jeff Fobes’ mother, Hazel Fobes. She attended meeting after meeting, waiting to speak her opinion on all kinds […]

An Xpress roll call

Miles Building, Elwood Miles, hot summer days, sketchy Lex Ave (Welcome to Wally World), Grey Eagle in Black Mountain, Leni Sitnick, Julian Price, Be Here Now, Gatsby’s, Danielle Truscott, Marsha Barber, phones with cords, fax paper rolls, boot leather and notebooks, Carey Watson, Wanda Edney, paper ballots for Best of WNC, Patty’s little girls roaming […]

A journalist’s rite of passage

I remember editor Peter Gregutt helping my writing recover from four years of grad-school jargon and two years of technical writing. I remember the excitement of working on emerging social issues, such as the gay rights movement (still a work in progress). I remember thinking that my job was to “take down the bad guys” […]

David Cohen's cartoons ran in Xpress' first issue (Aug. 10, 1994). This one's from 1995.

It must be a Coincident…

When the Green Line, Asheville’s monthly environmental newspaper, decided to go weekly, all of us who worked on it got together to talk about what that would entail. How would production be affected? Would there be enough to fill a weekly? And what toll would a new ramped-up schedule take on all of us? I […]