UNION DAYS: Approximately 90 workers and organizers of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees of America, Local Div. No. 128 pose for a picture in April 1913. Despite North Carolina’s status as one of the least unionized states in the country, current-day local union chapters such as ATU 128, have a long history of organizing and advocating for workers’ rights in the Southern Highlands. Photo via the Norh Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Library, Asheville North Carolina

Labor pains: WNC unions at a crossroads

In Western North Carolina and across the country, labor unions seem to be a dying breed these days, and many local residents don’t seem overly concerned about it. Yet WNC’s complex history of unionization stretches back to the late 19th century. From high-profile labor disputes and the emergence of “right to work” laws to the […]

HEY YOU GUYS!: Orbit DVD in West Asheville is run by movie nerd Marc McCloud. He sells a little bit of everything to support his first love — films that fascinate. The store is easy to spot with its eye-catching pop art murals. Photos by Able Allen

Local businesses serve Asheville’s geekier side

These days, geeking out is hot. Asheville is home to a vibrant community of people looking to express their nerdier side, and abundant businesses to serve them: From comic books to games to movies and more, this town has it all. Across the country, the cultural partitions surrounding geekdom are being torn down: What was […]

Asheville mayor Esther Manheimer addressed the Council of Independent Business Owners on Jan. 26. Before Manheimer's remarks, former City Council member Joe Dunn outlined his petition for district elections for Asheville City Council. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Former Asheville City Council member announces push for district elections at CIBO lunch

Dr. Joe Dunn, a retired dentist who lives in South Asheville, today told members of the Council of Independent Business Owners he’s launching a push for district elections for seats on Asheville City Council — and he’s planning to take his case directly to North Carolina legislators.

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.

Oralene Graves Anderson Simmons, founder of Asheville's Martin Luther King Jr. annual prayer breakfast, accepts a proclamation from the mayor of Jan. 14-16 as Martin Luther King Jr. Days in the city. This year's prayer breakfast is sold out, said Simmons. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Council approves annexation­, hears good news about Housing Authority program

On Jan. 10., Asheville City Council approved the free downtown shuttle service offered by Slidr, a request to voluntarily annex a 4.8-acre parcel in South Asheville and an amendment to the zoning approval for the RAD Lofts housing development on Roberts Street. Council also agreed to move forward with a study of voters’ attitudes about district elections for positions on City Council.

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Council likely to postpone hearing on Haywood Street hotel

The public hearing scheduled for Council’s Tuesday, Jan. 10 meeting on the zoning request for a 185-room Embassy Suites Hotel at 192 Haywood St. has a “100 percent chance” of being continued until a later Council meeting, according to Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer earlier today. No alternate date has been identified for the hearing yet, said City Clerk Maggie Burleson.