LIFELINES: A standard Naloxone kit (pictured here) can mean the difference between life and death during an overdose. The drug has had great success in preventing overdose fatalities in North Carolina. Photo courtesy Hadley Gustafson.

To the brink and back: Opioid abuse and treatment in WNC

Amid escalating use and abuse of opioids nationwide, the number of local narcotics-related overdoses has increased rapidly in recent years. The drug naloxone can temporarily suspend those drugs’ effects, and the Asheville metropolitan area leads the state in confirmed cases of opioid overdose reversal, according to the N.C. Harm Reduction Coalition.

Standing before the board: Parker Cove resident Nancy Nehls Nelson speaks before the Buncombe County Planning Board.

Weavervill­e residents voice concerns about subdivisio­n developmen­t

The Buncombe County Planning Board initially approved the plans for the Maple Trace subdivision in November 2014. At that time, the design called for 140 household units to be built in a rural Weaverville community with traffic directed through two exists. However, revisions to the plan have residents concerned that poor visibility and high traffic may result in dangerous driving conditions.

RESIDENTIAL WOES: Neighbors of Pond Road near Enka are worried that a proposed recycling facility may bring some serious consequences. But the property’s employment district zoning allows for offices, industry, storage, warehousing and wholesale trade. Map by Alane Mason

Recycling debated: Pond Road residents say ‘no’ to Regional Recycling Solutions

Local company Regional Recycling Solutions has big plans to open a recycling center, using “green” European technology, on Pond Road near Enka. But residents and members of the community take serious issue with not only the facility being built in their backyards but the consequences that truck-traffic on the winding roads could bring. A public hearing for the facility will be held on July 8 at noon, 30 Valley St., in Asheville.

RIVER RUNS THROUGH: Looking south, a calm French Broad flows well within its banks, with New Belgium Brewery under construction on the right. Drone photography by Dan Caylor

Costs and benefits: What’s the price of riverfront revitaliza­tion?

In her landmark 1955 book, The French Broad, Asheville author Wilma Dykeman said the river was “above all, a region of life, with all the richness and paradox of life.” She described a watershed rich in flora and fauna, ranging from the “fertile fields and gentle fall” through Transylvania and Henderson counties to the sudden “plunge between steep mountains” around Asheville, “strewn with jagged boulders.”