TAKING ON A CHALLENGE: Rainbow Community School core team members, from left, West Willmore, Michael Brown, Susan Daily, Renee Owen, Talia Willingham, Melody Shank and John Bikart are competing in a national contest for millions of dollars to reinvent the American high school. Photo by Liisa Andreassen

Rainbow Community School aims to reinvent learning

What would you do if you were given the chance to reimagine the American high school — and perhaps have your vision made real? The folks at West Asheville’s Rainbow Community School are enthusiastically tackling that ambitious challenge. Last September, West Willmore, Rainbow’s curriculum director, learned through social media about XQ: The Super School Project, […]

POWER PLAYERS: Recent travel companions Brownie Newman (l), Buncombe County Board of Commissioners; Julie Mayfield, Asheville City Council; and Jason Walls (r), Duke Energy represent the three convenors of the Energy Innovation Task Force. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Energy task force holds first meeting

The new Energy Innovation Task Force — which brings together representatives from electric utility Duke Energy, elected officials, the private sector, nonprofits and alternative energy providers — held its first meeting on May 13. In addition to the task force members, a sizable group of citizens and energy advocates also turned out for the public kickoff of the one-of-a-kind initiative, which aims to slow the growth of local energy demand and avoid the construction of a third natural gas generator.

Bowen Bridge will carry only local traffic under N.C. Department of Transportation's 4B plan. Photo by Bill Rhodes

Finally, a route for I-26 through Asheville

A route has finally been chosen, but numerous details about the long-delayed I-26 Connector through Asheville — including the scope of the project and how the new roadway will affect nearby residents — remain unclear. After decades of debate, the N.C. Department of Transportation has settled on a route for the Interstate 26 project through […]

FUTURE VISION: At the city planning department’s offices, Planning Director Todd Okolichany reviews documents with staff. Planner Stacy Merten, left of Okolichany, is the staff lead for the comprehensive plan update project. Photo by Virginia Daffron

The road ahead: Asheville launches comprehens­ive planning process

Asheville’s last comprehensive city plan was completed in 2003. Since then, the city has gained 16,000 residents and embarked on a wide range of revitalization, infrastructure and multimodal transportation projects. Now it’s time to begin a new planning process that will span a year and a half and involve a broad cross-section of the city’s residents.