The race is on: The four candidates who are vying for two seats on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners faced off for the first time. Photo by Jake Frankel

Buncombe commissioner candidates debate

Differing visions for Buncombe County’s future collided July 30, as the Council of Independent Business Owners hosted the campaign season’s first candidate forum. Four candidates made their case for two seats on the Board of Commissioners. Sparring for District 2 Incumbent Democrat Ellen Frost faces a rematch with Republican Christina Merrill in District 2, which […]

Teal Brown, (pictured right) recently started the Wishbone Tiny Homes construction business with his father, Gerry Brown (left). They're also forming a group that will push for changes in local and state rules to accommodate “implementing tiny homes in Asheville." Photo by Carrie Eidson.

Will tiny homes be Asheville’s next big thing?

The blogosphere is abuzz these days with romantic visions of picturesque miniature dwellings. And a growing number of local advocates say the “tiny home movement” could help achieve a wealth of positive outcomes, from environmental efficiencies to enhanced affordability. Amid the swelling interest, however, many hurdles remain.

Take a good long look: The Cullowhee Native Plants Conference, running from July 15 through July 19, encourages enthusiasts to really 'dig in' to their love of native plants. Photo by Ashley Evans, courtesy of WCU.

Video: Plant enthusiasts assemble for the Native Plants Conference

Brace yourselves — the plant enthusiasts are coming. From Tuesday, July 15 through Saturday, July 19, Western North Carolina will once again play host to the Cullowhee Native Plants Conference, an annual event with workshops and field trips exploring many aspects of native plants. Get a feel for the conference with a video tour of the plants of Black Balsam Ridge.

Jim Wallis was among the lineup of speakers at the Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs. His talk on race in America is attracting national controversy.

Video: Did ‘Obama’s spiritual advisor’ go on ‘race rant’ in Hot Springs?

Calling Dr. Jim Wallis President Barack Obama’s “spiritual advisor,” the popular conservative news and opinion website The Daily Caller reported July 7 that the liberal evangelical leader went on a “race rant” at a recent event Hot Springs. But was it really an accusatory, racist rant, from a man “who has the ear of the leader of the free world,” as the website alleges? Or was it part of a constructive dialogue on a tough topic?

"The Road Kill Dress," designed by Melaine Murrah and modeled by Molly Roberts-Rego at Costume Drama at Asheville Community Theatre (Carrie Eidson/ Mountain Xpress)

In photos: Costume Drama brings high-fashion DIY to ACT

Asheville Community Theatre reprised their fundraiser Costume Drama: A Fashion Show for a third year on Monday, July 7. Designers and models from throughout the Southeast participated in the DIY runway event where they were challenged to create wearable art in themed categories: paper, nature, upcycled/recycled or — new this year— transformation.

The eve of Wamboldtopia: "This whole place is a love story," says Damaris Pierce, seen here in the garden's wedding circle — Damaris' "engagement ring" built by Ricki Pierce (left). "There's a lot of letting go." Photo by Carrie Eidson.

Leaving fairyland: Wamboldtopia’s creators say goodbye to their garden home

Since 1999, Wamboldtopia has been the ever-growing home and garden of artists Damaris and Ricki Pierce. It began as a steep, shady hillside covered in grass, but after 15 years of transformation, Wamboldtopia is a West Asheville institution — a fairyland covered in stone. But for Damaris and Ricki, this is the last season in the garden before they place the home on the market and prepare to move on to new and separate lives.

More than 200 bikers gathered at City County Plaza for the Summer Cycle. Photo by Jake Frankel.

‘Summer Cycle’ community ride draws hundreds of bikers

More than 200 bicyclists took to local streets June 28 for a community ride across north Asheville and the River Arts District. The annual Summer Cycle was organized by Asheville on Bikes, a volunteer group dedicated to cultivating local cycling culture. Its well-attended community rides and other advocacy work have helped get the attention of […]