Challenging the status quo, cleaning up local government

Twenty years ago, law enforcement in Asheville and Buncombe County was unaccountable, environmental regulations were a joke and local government was a perpetual backroom deal. Mountain Xpress’ investigative reporting and commitment to community involvement helped changed all that in ways that I might not believe possible if I hadn’t seen them myself — from the […]

Getting ready to plan the area beside Lexington Avenue at the Interstate 240 underpass. This was one of hundreds of beautification projects undertaken by Quality Forward (now GreenWorks). Photo courtesy of Susan Roderick

On Wednesdays, everyone was reading it

Mountain Xpress added to the vibrancy of an already out-of-control energy level around Asheville in the ’90s. Events and causes finally had a voice, and everyone pitched in to get the word out. We knew it was a successful publication because you would go through downtown on a Wednesday and everyone was reading it. It’s […]

Lou Bissette, Asheville mayor (1985-1989)

Dear Jeff

Dear Jeff… It is hard to believe that it has been 20 years since you began publishing the Mountain Xpress. During that period of time, Asheville has changed a great deal and the Mountain Xpress has been a big part of that process. It is really hard to comprehend the changes that have taken place […]

State fines Duke Energy for coal-ash problems at Wilmington plant

The Associated Press reports that North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources has cited Duke Energy for ongoing contamination at its L.V. Sutton Electric Plant near Wilmington: North Carolina environmental officials moved Tuesday to fine Duke Energy over pollution that has been seeping into the groundwater for years from a pair of coal ash […]

N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory signed an executive order calling for Duke Energy to address coal-ash issues (pictured here, the Skyland plant south of Asheville). (photo by Grady Cooper)

NC calls on Duke Energy to address coal ash at Asheville and other sites

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NC DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES DENR requires Duke Energy to address coal ash issues RALEIGH – As part of implementing Governor Pat McCrory’s recent executive order on coal ash, state officials are requiring that Duke Energy provide plans for excavating inactive coal ash storage ponds at four of its facilities. Four letters […]

Asheville Regional Airport breaks ground on $64 million runway project

PRESS RELEASE Asheville Regional Airport breaks ground on $64 million runway project titled “Project SOAR” On August 8, 2014 Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) broke ground on the biggest construction project since the airport was originally built, titled Project SOAR: Significant Opportunity for Aviation and the Region. The 5-year, 4-phase project, slated for completion some time […]

Enka-Candler Business Association will host Sept. 9 event

PRESS RELEASE Growing momentum in Enka-Candler Business Association Less than a year after installing a new welcome sign from Asheville into the Enka-Candler community, the Enka-Candler Business Association (ECBA) is eyeing its next big project.  The group of approximately 20 active businesses is planning a Business Community Gathering.  The event will be Tuesday, Sept. 9, from 5:30 – […]

Forest Service reminder: Don’t bring firewood from home

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM the U.S. Forest Service: Reminder: Don’t Move Firewood ASHEVILLE, N.C., Aug. 8, 2014 – The U.S. Forest Service urges visitors to only use local wood in campfires when staying in a national forest. The agency encourages campers to obtain firewood from the forest itself (with a permit), from sources provided on the […]

Angel Medical Center, FHS Athletic Program present football & spirit clinic

PRESS RELEASE Angel Medical Center, FHS Athletic Program present football & spirit clinic (Franklin, NC)  Angel Medical Center and the FHS Athletic Department will offer a football and spirit clinic on Saturday, August 9th at Franklin High School.  The clinic is open to all rising K through 6th grade students only.  The event will be held from 9:30am to 11:30am […]

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.

Friends of Connect Buncombe seek funds for greenway

The Friends of Connect Buncombe have raised nearly half the $20,000 needed to help study the proposal to build a new greenway, the Asheville Citizen-Times  reported on July 5.  According to the group’s fundraising website, the new route would connect “the French Broad River Greenway to the Farmer’s Market, [N.C.] Arboretum and Bent Creek trails and Biltmore Park” — Imagine being […]

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 […]