On Oct. 28 local artist Chris Ortega was found dead in his home. According to the Asheville Police Department, Ortega’s death “is suspicious, and we are continuing to investigate.” Contrary to some rumors this week, police have not yet ruled his death a homicide.
At around 1 p.m., an Asheville Police Department car went off the Jeff Bowen Bridge and onto Riverside Drive below. Later that afternoon, APD Chief William Anderson announced that the crash killed Senior Officer Rob Bingaman. The State Highway Patrol is investigating the wreck, and police officials said it’s still too early to know many details about the crash.
The five Asheville City Council candidates squared off at the Council of Independent Business Owners’ forum yesterday afternoon as this year’s campaign entered its final stretch. Many of the topics discussed had been dealt with at previous forums, with some exceptions. In this case, the candidates questioned each other, and spoke frankly about their thoughts on development and NIMBYism.
Amid concerns about the fairness of the Asheville Police Department and no small amount of skepticism, about 40 community members shared their thoughts this evening on how to improve the city’s law enforcement.
At tonight’s meeting, Asheville City Council approved new rules allowing urban farming and produce sales throughout the city. Council also approved starting the search for a summer event to replace Bele Chere. On a less optimistic note, the public and city officials discussed increasing issues of crime, policing and homelessness in Asheville’s core.
At a meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 18, city of Asheville staff and police officers met with homeless activists and local nonprofit representatives to discuss a new law enforcement approach that focuses on more arrests in the city’s downtown. Responses varied, ranging from concerns about the impacts of a failing system to criticisms of the Asheville Police Department’s new strategy.
Information obtained by Xpress shows that out of 25 communications positions at the Asheville Police Department, 10 are vacant, leaving the department 40 percent short of its full number.
Mike Lanning, a former Asheville Police Department officer, filed for Asheville City Council last Friday. Lanning says recent controversies about the APD’s leadership spurred him to run, “because there needs to be someone on Council who questions city staff.”
At a special meeting today, Asheville City Council announced that an internal investigation had found no evidence that Asheville Police Department Chief William Anderson engaged in a coverup surrounding a March car crash involving his son, as alleged by an APD lieutenant. However, the inquiry also found that when Anderson ordered the officer to meet with him, he acted inappropriately. Council members promised improvements to the general management of the department.
After a season of uncertainty, Asheville City Council unanimously passed a budget tonight that includes the city’s first major property tax increase in more than a decade. Most of the increase will go to fund improved road maintenance and a wish list of projects intended to spur economic development. Photo by Max Cooper
After he was reported missing on April 29, William Howard Pack remains a missing person and the Asheville Police Department is asking the public for help. (Photo of Pack taken in 2004, courtesy of APD)
Former Asheville Police Department evidence room manager William Lee Smith has pleaded guilty to a federal charge for embezzling $10-30,000 in drugs from the evidence room, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
On March 17, a man — reportedly shouting homophobic and racist slurs — stabbed a Club Metropolis employee. The crime has sparked a community reaction, including plans for a benefit. The APD is not qualifying the incident as a hate crime, and the suspect was released March 21.
Asheville Police Department Chief William Anderson publicly apologized today for “a poor decision” in directing the APD, rather than the State Highway Patrol, to handle the initial investigation of a March 9 accident involving his son, Chad Anderson.
Claiming that they’ve “exhausted all leads to this point,” the Asheville Police Department has suspended its investigation of the alleged hacking of state Rep. Tim Moffitt’s Twitter account last year. The legislator’s account sent out an offensive message that he implied was an effort by his political opponents to discredit him.
The situation of the Asheville Police Department evidence room has improved, with a new manager and better systems, Chief William Anderson told media today. He also says he’s better informed about what led to missing evidence, and who was responsible, but refused again to reveal further details. Photo by Max Cooper.
Police cars and fire trucks blocked off Walnut Street downtown this afternoon after the collapse of 15 Carolina Lane. Workers were already in the process of tearing down the building, and no one was injured.
The Asheville Police Department will not press charges in the Jan. 14 death of Dean Bush, a homeless man who was struck by three vehicles on Tunnel Road and dragged over four miles. The APD cites Bush’s presence in an area not meant for pedestrian traffic and weather conditions as the reason for their decision.
The Asheville Police Department has released more information about the horrific traffic accident on Tunnel Road yesterday evening that took the life of Dean Bush, 45. A homeless man, he was struck by several vehicles and dragged several miles. The APD is still investigating the case.
Asheville City Hall should see a new entrance and metal detector completed this spring, according to Building Safety Director Robert Griffin. The changes are the latest in a gradual increase in security at City Hall over the past few years.
Joint raids by Homeland Security, the Asheville Police Department and the Buncombe, Transylvania, Henderson County sheriff’s offices targeted six Octopus Garden locations earlier today, carrying out a search warrant related to “bath salts” amphetamines and synthetic marijuana. (Photo by Max Cooper)