Republican Statehouse Rep. Nathan Ramsey and Democratic challenger John Ager. Photo by Alicia Funderburk.

Statehouse candidates debate: Ramsey vs. Ager

There wasn’t much tension between Nathan Ramsey  and John Ager at the Council of Independent Business Owners’s early-morning debate, Friday, Aug. 29 perhaps because of a personal history. “John’s my neighbor,” said Ramsey. “I’ve known John since I was probably about two years old.” Not only are the two candidates personal acquaintances, both grew up in the […]

Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger. File photo

Buncombe Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger takes the heat for snow days

It’s been a hard few months for Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger. His office remains under intense scrutiny following the news that Reisinger, an elected official, closed the Deeds office in February during inclement weather and a governor-declared State of Emergency. No other Buncombe County department closed at the time. Buncombe officials later responded to the apparent […]

The local Campaign for Southern Equality organization has been pushing for marriage equality in North Carolina and other states across the Southeast.

Supreme Court issues stay, preserving NC gay marriage ban

The U.S. Supreme Court responded today, Aug. 20, to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision last month to strike down a same-sex marriage ban by issuing a stay that bars the practice pending further action by the court. The move is a disappointment to equality advocates who hoped that today’s deadline would pass without […]

The race is on: The four candidates who are vying for two seats on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners faced off for the first time. Photo by Jake Frankel

Buncombe commissioner candidates debate

Differing visions for Buncombe County’s future collided July 30, as the Council of Independent Business Owners hosted the campaign season’s first candidate forum. Four candidates made their case for two seats on the Board of Commissioners. Sparring for District 2 Incumbent Democrat Ellen Frost faces a rematch with Republican Christina Merrill in District 2, which […]

Allan Wolf at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Southern Fried Poetry Slam. Photo from Wolf's Facebook page.

Poetic injustice: Locals respond to N.C.’s poet laureate debate

Poetry has long been an action-packed artistic genre in Western North Carolina. Here, it’s not merely written but spoken, slammed and taken into schools (thanks to Poetry Alive! — which celebrates its 30th anniversary with an event at The White Horse on Aug. 15 — and LEAF in Schools & Streets, among other initiatives). In […]

Jim Wallis was among the lineup of speakers at the Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs. His talk on race in America is attracting national controversy.

Video: Did ‘Obama’s spiritual advisor’ go on ‘race rant’ in Hot Springs?

Calling Dr. Jim Wallis President Barack Obama’s “spiritual advisor,” the popular conservative news and opinion website The Daily Caller reported July 7 that the liberal evangelical leader went on a “race rant” at a recent event Hot Springs. But was it really an accusatory, racist rant, from a man “who has the ear of the leader of the free world,” as the website alleges? Or was it part of a constructive dialogue on a tough topic?

North Fork Reservoir, the main water source for the local water system managed by the city of Asheville, is part of a 22,000-acre watershed.

Judge’s decision blocks transfer of Asheville’s water system

Last evening, June 9, the city of Asheville released the news: Judge Howard Manning has ruled that North Carolina legislators’ move to take over the local water system violates the state constitution. “The Water Act,” he ruled, “is not a valid exercise of the sovereign power of the legislative branch.” Kirk Ross, with Carolina Public […]

Rebecca Knight (left) and Ben Scales (right) each need 7,331 signatures by June 12 to get on the Buncombe district-attorney ballot. Photo of Knight courtesy of Knight. Photo of Scales by Alicia Funderburk

Signature events: Scales, Knight mount petition drives in DA race

In the wake of Todd Williams’ historic victory over District Attorney Ron Moore in the May 6 Democratic primary, two unaffiliated candidates are mounting petition campaigns to get their names on the November ballot. Ben Scales, a local attorney in private practice, and Rebecca Knight, a former Buncombe County District Court judge, are each seeking […]

Meadows and Shuler team up to push for ‘Road to Nowhere’ money

The effort to secure compensation for Swain County from the federal government for a road it never completed has been a long and twisted tale, full of contentious political debate among Western North Carolina congressmen both old and new. The issue is now back in the news, as current GOP Rep. Mark Meadows has joined […]