BUILDING CULTURE: From the ancestors of the Ani Katuah to the first European settlers and later tobacco farmers, the evolution of human settlement and existence in the Southern Appalachians can be traced through the structure and buildings they erected to support their ways of life. The Rural Heritage Museum at Mars Hill University documents the evolution of built structures in its latest exhibit, Shelter on the Mountain, on display through May 28. Photo of an open cathedral-like hayloft of the 1951 gambrel-roof barn built by Delbert and Charlie Shelton in the Shelton Laurel community. By Earthsong Photography/ Don McGowan

Rural Heritage Museum highlights history of WNC barns

From the Ani Katuah to white settlers and tobacco farmers, barns and buildings have played a central role in defining the culture of the Southern Appalachians. Shelter on the Mountain: Barns and Building Traditions of the Southern Highlands traces the evolution of local building practices.

TAKING A STAND: Diane DeWitt, left, and Cathy Holt participate in an Asheville protest against the Dakota Access pipeline. In her commentary below, Holt suggests another form of protest: Moving money out of the big banks that are financing the pipeline.

Divestitur­e could help halt Dakota Access pipeline

“Those seeking to profit from extracting the dirtiest of fuels are using their money and power to try to lock in a fossil fuel infrastructure, with no regard for cataclysmic climate change. But we don’t have to let them. Starting right here in Asheville, we can derail those plans by moving our money out of the big banks that are financing the pipeline!”

Kids and parents posed for a group photo at Pritchard Park. Photo by Emma Grace Moon

Children organize Asheville protest against Trump’s policies

While it didn’t rival the Women’s March on Asheville held in January, the Kid’s Protest march in Asheville on Sunday, Feb. 5, also drew a large and passionate crowd of protesters. Organized by the children of local musician Sparrow Pants, the event gave kids an opportunity to share their concerns about the administration of President Donald Trump and its policies.

DEFENSIVE MANEUVERS: Asheville Police Department personnel at Basic Law Enforcement Training class, working on self-defense and subject control techniques. While this sort of training is vital to police work, a new paradigm is emerging — reflected in evolving departmental policy — that emphasizes de-escalation and avoiding physical confrontation when responding to volatile situations. Photo courtesy of APD

Proposed APD policy favors de-escalation over force

A proposed Asheville Police Department policy hashed out with substantial citizen input could mark a change in the way officers handle volatile situations, proponents say. If the policy is adopted as expected, officers will have to explain how they approached the situation and what they did to try to calm things down before resorting to […]

Recently elected Buncombe County Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara addresses a room full of Affordable Care Act supporters as congress threatens to repeal the law. Photo courtesy of Pisgah Legal Services

Pisgah Legal Services leads local movement to protect Obamacare

In an effort to emphasize the importance of access to affordable health insurance coverage for North Carolinians, Pisgah Legal Services held a press conference Tuesday in partnership with the North Carolina Justice Center. Speakers included political and legal advocates for the ACA, as well as residents who offered stories about their experiences with affordable care and health insurance.

ROCK STARS: For 70 years, the Mineral Research Laboratory in Asheville’s South Slope neighborhood has worked with mining companies around the world to come up with efficient ways to harvest and process minerals, as well as educate the public on North Carolina’s mineral resources. Utilizing its unique pilot plant (above), the lab has the capability to provide data on the cost and scale of operations for companies to use in commercial enterprises. Photo by Max Hunt

Minerals Research Lab cooks up cutting-edge solutions

For 70 years, the Minerals Research Laboratory on Coxe Avenue has collaborated with mining companies and educational institutions to develop more efficient processes for extracting the state’s mineral resources as well as ways to reuse potentially harmful byproducts.

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