Board of Commissioners Chairman David Gantt presents departing Commissioner David King with an award for his service on the board.

County approves economic incentives, King bids farewell

Counting on a longterm return and benefit to the area, Buncombe County commissioners approved two economic incentive packages today, Nov. 18, in exchange for the creation of new jobs and millions of dollars of investment in the county economy. Commissioners unanimously approved a $9 million economic incentive for gear maker Linamar North Carolina Inc., to […]

Left to right: Democratic candidates Cindy McMahon, John Ager and Ellen Frost celebrate their wins on election night. Photos by Halima Flynt, Jesse Farthing, Pat Barcas

A deeper dive into the Democratic blue: Analysis of Buncombe Commission, NC House elections

Despite rightward-streaming state and federal political currents, Buncombe County stood out on election night as a small sea of Democratic blue. In several important local races, Democratic candidates toppled Republican incumbents or maintained their positions of power. Here’s a look at some of those key local races, with an analysis of what happened and the consequences going forward.

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Daydreamer on Biltmore: New mural unveiled

After years of city planning and public forums, another year of designing, sculpting and painting and a month-and-a-half of installation, Daydreamer, Asheville’s newest piece of public art, is finished. Asheville muralists Alex Irvine and Ian Wilkinson took down their scaffolding on Wednesday, Nov. 5, revealing the first unobstructed view of the new work. Daydreamer, formerly […]

A capacity crowd of students attended a candidate forum at Warren Wilson College. Buncombe County Board of Commissioner candidates from left to right: Ellen Frost, Brownie Newman, Christina Merrill. Photo by Petras Barcas

Frost and Merrill debate voting rights at Warren Wilson College

Students at Warren Wilson College delivered a contentious 18 vote win to Ellen Frost in 2012, giving Democrats a one seat majority on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. She faces a rematch with Republican opponent Christina Merrill this year for control of District 2, and the two candidates returned to the decisive campus in Swannanoa for an Oct. 29 forum. (Photo by Petras Barcas)

An artist rendering of "SECU Plaza" and proposed signage as envisioned by the Asheville Art Museum.

SECU Plaza: Asheville Council sells naming rights to State Employee’s Credit Union

Asheville City Council voted unanimously Oct. 28 to sell the naming rights of an outdoor public space in the heart of downtown to the North Carolina State Employee’s Credit Union Foundation. Council also considered problems at the Asheville Police Department, heard an update from Duke Energy, and appointed three members to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Later today: Commissioners deliberate on funding for YMCA, Mountain Mobility

County commissioners will convene today, Oct. 21, to consider two financial decisions related to county and city institutions. The first concerns the Buncombe County Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Western North Carolina, which is seeking financial assistance for various upgrades and improvement projects, by way of Wisconsin: The organization is seeking the proceeds of […]

ONE FOR THE TEAM: In addition to voting to approve new "innovation" districts, Asheville Council members honored the winning team — the local minor-league Tourists baseball team, which who won the 2014 South Atlantic League Championship. Tourists owner Brian DeWine, right of Mayor Esther Manheimer, posed with Council. (photo by Cameron Huntley)

Council approves new innovation districts

Today, Oct. 14, Asheville City Council approved the creation of three municipal service districts (MSD) as a way to finance redevelopment and infrastructural improvements. The three MSDs — what city officials are calling “innovation districts” — will be in the River Arts District, the South Slope Extension and Charlotte Street Corridor. “The areas that have been selected have the opportunity […]

Graphics by Lance Wille

Buncombe commissioner candidates fight for control

Four candidates are battling for two seats on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. In each case, these contenders hold vastly different views on a range of issues, from taxes and spending to growing the economy and protecting the environment. Also at stake is which party holds a voting majority on the board. Here’s a closer look at those races.

Asheville Transit Committee delves into details that keep public transit rolling

Ever been stuck halfway in and halfway out of an overcrowded bus shelter, pelted by rain and silently cursing a bus that is running behind schedule? Ever feel at such a moment that no one from the city’s transit system much cares about your plight? Fear not, for a committee of people no different from […]

Council preview: Innovation districts, Greymont Village continuation on Oct. 14 agenda

Asheville City Council will convene Tuesday, Oct. 14, to discuss the “innovation districts” mentioned by Mayor Esther Manheimer in her Sept. 30 State of the City address, as well  as attempt to settle a proposed rezoning on Sardis Road that Council members punted from their Sept. 4 meeting. Council also held an information session on innovation districts […]