KNOWING THE RISK: Scam artists are constantly finding new, ingenious ways to exploit security loopholes and gain access to consumers’ personal information, from installing “skimmers” (pictured above) on unmanned points of transaction to hacking into financial databases. In turn, law enforcement and cyber security experts encourage consumers to protect themselves by being vigilant in knowing how and where scammers strike. Photo courtesy of the Asheville Police Department

Scamming, skimming and financial fraud in WNC

Today’s savvy scammers have a whole host of increasingly sophisticated techniques to quickly steal information and drain bank accounts. To combat these crimes, IT professionals, law enforcement personnel and government officials are encouraging consumers and businesses to remain vigilant at transaction points and take other steps to safeguard themselves from the threat of online hackers.

COMPUTERS OF YORE: Technology has advanced over the decades since the federal government started collecting and storing the world’s climate data. Before moving to the Federal Building, data was stored in the Grove Arcade. Here, National Climatic Data Center staff members Dale Lipe and Ray Ertzberger use the Film Optical Sensing Device for Input to Computers in the ‘60s. Photo courtesy of NOAA

Local climate science industry primed for takeoff

“There’s this treasure trove of information just sitting there that’s never really been very well mined, because in the past it’s been so complex to run computations against it,” explains Stephen Del Greco, chief of the Data Access Division at the National Centers for Environmental Information. A component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, […]

SPICING IT UP: Eliot and  Eva-Michelle Spicer are adding a new touch to an old family gem.

Spicer Greene Jewelers: Bringing new blood to an old family business

Wick & Greene Jewelers is in the midst of a facelift and name change. In August, it will reopen as Spicer Greene Jewelers. The new owners, Eva-Michelle and Elliot Spicer are currently in the midst of bringing the building’s art deco exterior to the store’s interior. “The furniture…the light fixture…we’re bringing it back to how it […]

Entrepreneur, author and speaker Josh Linkner delivered the keynote address at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting at the Omni Grove Park Inn on July 30. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Chamber celebrates strong year, recognizes member accomplish­ments

At the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting on June 30, area business folk mingled, munched and meditated as they considered the state of the local business community. Awards were given and a keynote address was heard. The Omni Grove Park Inn deftly managed the sold-out crowd, though filled parking decks presented some attendees with an opportunity for a brisk walk from surface lots to the ballroom.

BIG DREAMS: Adriana Chavela, publisher of the Spanish lifestyle magazine Hola Carolina, says, “The American dream is alive and well within the Western North Carolina Latino community."

Latino entreprene­urs gain ground in local business community

Although the overall numbers are still relatively small, there’s a growing desire in the local Hispanic community to own a business. Accordingly, Mountain BizWorks is now offering classes conducted in Spanish and designed to help potential business owners navigate the American entrepreneurial landscape. The local nonprofit also makes loans to promising startups and existing enterprises.

White Fawn Family Care Home, which serves mentally ill adults in Asheville, is owned by a company that incorporated itself as Nutz R Us. Photo by Frank Taylor / Carolina Public Press

From Carolina Public Press: Mentally ill sent to Nutz R Us, despite name, bad inspection­s

Nutz R Us, a Buncombe County company that incorporated under that name in 2008, operates assisted living facilities catering to mentally ill adults, according to a story filed by Frank Taylor, managing editor of Carolina Public Press. Multiple officials with state and local public health agencies have told Carolina Public Press that they find the […]

STREET SOLIDARITY: Andrew Fletcher addresses a collection of buskers and busking advocates outside of the U.S. Cellular Center prior to the city's Public Safety Committee meeting and forum. Photo by Max Hunt

Council members defer busking regulation­s at Public Safety Committee meeting

Asheville city staffers, downtown stakeholders and local buskers turned out in force for the city’s monthly Public Safety Committee meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss a city proposal for a pilot program regulating downtown public space. The meeting, which was preceded by a community forum with downtown stakeholders, came amid tensions over pilot program, which would add regulations to several […]

B Lab is headquartered in  Wayne, Pennsylvania. They currently certify 1,767 B Corps in 50 different countries.

Step one, Hackathon: Asheville network coalesces to grow area B Corp community

What the heck is a hackathon? It may sound like an epic, machete-wielding footrace through the jungle, or a competition to see who can break into computer systems the fastest, but, in fact, it’s both tamer and more noble — it’s about bringing people together to collaborate. The term is borrowed from collaborative computer programming […]

SOCIAL ANXIETY: Since evidence of the scope and extent of contamination began coming to public light a decade ago, the former CTS of Asheville Superfund site has bred tension and distrust between residents and the agencies charged with overseeing containment and remediation of the site. With a new remedial action plan set to be implemented by the end of 2016, many community members are hoping that EPA officials will finally follow through with cleanup measures they say are several decades late in coming.  Photo  by Dan Caylor

Toxic legacy: CTS site breeds heartache for residents

With the EPA set to implement a new remediation strategy at the CTS of Asheville Superfund site this year, some residents and public officials are cautiously hopeful that the long-standing issues might finally be addressed. Others continue to lobby federal authorities to hold the EPA accountable for past missteps and speed up the remediation process.

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 […]