FULL HOUSE: A sell-out crowd gathered for the Asheville Downtown Association's State of Downtown luncheon on Jan. 31 at the U.S. Cellular Center. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Annual State of Downtown event focuses on investment­, opportunit­y

At the Asheville Downtown Association’s annual State of Downtown luncheon, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer and Buncombe County Commission Chair Brownie Newman touted lists of major public projects and initiatives that benefit downtown. Meanwhile, urban planning consultant Joe Minicozzi argued that tax revenue data show more municipal investment in downtown is both warranted and needed.

The Asheville Humane Society and the Asheville Museum of Science team up for a pet adoption event and a special Science Pub event tonight, Friday, Jan. 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Weekend Picks: Friday, Jan. 27 – Sunday, Jan 29

Check out this list of weekend highlights and visit the Mountain Xpress Community Calendar for a complete list of weekend events! FRIDAY Science Pub: Meet Your Dog An Introduction to the Science Underlying Your Dog’s Behavior 254-7162, ashevillescience.org FR (1/27), 5:30pm – Science Pub: “Meet Your Dog An Introduction to the Science Underlying Your Dog’s […]

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.

Peer pressure: Kevin Mahoney and Geena Hammond, both with the nonprofit Sunrise Community, will lend their expertise to a new diversion program the Buncombe County district attorney is rolling out that’s aimed at prioritizing treatment over convictions.

Cure for pain: Preventing opioid-related deaths

Buncombe County, like many places across the country, is in the throes of an opioid epidemic, many local sources say. Despite law enforcement efforts and increased awareness of overprescribing, the last few years have seen a dramatic rise in opioid-related overdoses and deaths. Between 2005 and 2014, the county had 110 homicides, according to the […]

The roof of Asheville City Hall.

Haywood Street hotel back on Council’s agenda for Jan. 24

Asheville City Council will consider another large hotel for downtown Asheville at its meeting on Jan. 24. With 185 rooms in a nine-story building at 192 Haywood St., the proposed Embassy Suites Hotel is the type of project that has generated widespread public attention and no small measure of controversy — and which Council seems hard-pressed to curb under existing zoning regulations.

COLD COMFORT: Since 2006, electric heat pumps have replaced over 12,000 oil- or propane-fired furnaces in WNC. While the heat pumps can be highly efficient at moderate temperatures, engineers and energy industry experts say they are less so when the mercury drops below freezing. Data from the Energy Innovation Task Force and Duke Energy; graphic by Scott Southwick

Heat pumps drive rapid growth in WNC’s peak electricit­y demand

Using data provided by Duke Energy, a local task force has shown that much of the growth in WNC’s peak electrical demand is driven by the conversion of existing oil- and propane-fired heating systems to electric heat pumps. Slowing the growth in peak demand is the mission of the task force, which hopes to delay or eliminate the need for one of three new power plants proposed for Duke Energy’s Lake Julian station.