Ban the Box and a budget amendment for the June Congressional primary are among issues on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioner's agenda on Tuesday, April 19.

Ban the Box, June-primary budget amendment set to go before Buncombe County Commission­ers

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners has a decidedly lighter agenda for its upcoming meeting compared to this month’s previous seven-hour slugfest. There are no public hearings scheduled and the four new business items don’t appear to be inherently contentious in nature when commissioners tackle the agenda on Tuesday, April 19. Among those issues are amending the budget to pay for June’s Congressional primary and consideration of removing the question regarding an candidate’s criminal past on the county’s hiring application.

Two groups of demonstrators face off across the street from one another. Photo by John Penley

In photos: A rally in support of HB 2 and protesters against it share Pack Square

On Saturday, April 2, supporters and opponents of the recently-passed North Carolina legislation House Bill 2 demonstrated in Asheville’s Pack Square. The new law overturns a Charlotte ordinance that would have allowed people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity rather than the sex that matches their birth certificate. It also prevents other municipalities from passing similar ordinances to Charlotte’s, and it limits legal recourse for those who believe they have experienced discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or disability.

Jasmine Beach-Ferrara (second from right) declaring victory, surrounded by her wife Meghann Burke (center), mother (far left) and members of her campaign team. Photo by Able Allen

Making history: Jasmine Beach-Ferrara to become first openly gay Buncombe County Commission­er

With her win in the District 1 Democratic primary, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara is slated to become the first openly LGBT Buncombe County Commissioner. To get there, she had strong competition from City Councilman Gordon Smith and from another civil rights activist, Isaac Coleman. Since no Republican filed to run for the District 1 seat, Beach-Ferrara is almost certain to take office in the fall after the General Election.

State Board of Elections opts not to combine two races for Buncombe County Superior Court seats-attachment0

Another Asheville senior resident experience­s difficulty obtaining photo ID from NCDMV

Another Asheville resident has had a frustrating experience trying to obtain a photo ID for voting. After a time-consuming trip to the DMV, and wrangling with poll workers at the Buncombe County Board of Elections office, 68-year-old Juliet Burke succeeded in casting an early vote in the primary, but she still lacks a photo ID.