Creative commons photo by Travis Wise

Buncombe County to pay more than $7 million settlement fee for wrongful conviction­s

After a crowded and lengthy Tuesday, Aug. 4 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners went into closed session to discuss three legal issues and two economic development issues.

And after 30 minutes of private discussion, the commissioners rejoined the then-sparse audience to announce the county must pay more than $7 million in settlement fees to five men who were wrongfully convicted under former Sheriff Bobby Medford’s watch and had served six to 11 years behind bars.

#MYFIRSTDAY: From new pencils to greetings from the mascot and educators like K-12 Curriculum director April Dockery, Hall Fletcher Elementary students started their first day of school July 16. Photo by Margaret Williams

Hall Fletcher Elementary moves forward with year-round school

On a cool, foggy July morning, more than 300 children bustle past a row of blooming sunflowers and into Hall Fletcher Elementary as teachers hand out new pencils, the principal greets them by name, and the UNC Asheville mascot poses with them for photos. But it’s only midsummer: Why are these students filing through the doors about a month before their peers at other city schools?

Asheville City Council voted on July 28 to revise the city's animal ordinance, banning animal entertainment, like circuses, from occurring within the city limits. Flickr photo by Laura Bittner.

Asheville City Council gives the boot to animal entertainm­ent

After the U.S. Cellular Center decided to prohibit wild and exotic animal performances in January, the Asheville City Council decided to consider prohibiting these types of events from all city venues. A revision to the city’s animal ordinance, banning circuses and other wild animal entertainment, was passed at the Tuesday, July 28 meeting.